• Hybrid Testing;
  • Substructuring;
  • Seismic Experimentation;
  • Testing System

The hybrid testing method for earthquake engineering was developed to evaluate the seismic performance of civil structural systems. During hybrid testing, part of the structure, called physical substructure, is physically tested using hydraulic loading equipment while the rest of the structure, named numerical substructure, is numerically simulated with a computer model. Thus, hybrid testing allows a complex physical substructure being tested experimentally, while the relatively simple part of the structure is numerically simulated to economically obtain the full structural response. Recently, a versatile hybrid testing system was built at Western Michigan University consisting of a shake table, an actuator/reaction system, and an advanced hybrid testing controller. Such a testing system is capable of conducting various seismic experiments such as displacement-based pseudodynamic substructure testing as well as force-based real time dynamic hybrid testing. Because of its versatility and easy operation at the benchmark scale, the developed testing system is particularly suitable for the development of advanced hybrid testing techniques and, earthquake engineering education/outreach activities. The development of the testing system is described in this article focusing on the hardware and software integrations. A three story shake table hybrid test is presented as an example to demonstrate the system's capability and feasibility.