Structural Testing Floor

The structural testing floor provides researchers and companies with exceptional experimental and digital resources. The aim is to broaden expertise in environmental civil engineering and sustainable management of cities and to undertake simulations on structures or elements of structures at full or half scale.

A global scientific approach is adopted which combines civil engineering, the environment, the city and sustainable development by integrating all the interrelated components of construction (soil, natural or industrial materials, buildings, structures, urban complexes, cities) over the entire lifecycle (survey, design, manufacture, maintenance, rehabilitation, deconstruction, waste recovery).

In order to meet the challenges of environmental civil engineering - construction risk management, assessment of the ageing of structures, taking into account climatic changes, environmental impacts associated with construction - the platform brings together simulation tools adapted for dimensioning and management of the lifecycle of structures, allowing the integration of the influence of specific or extreme environmental actions and severe demands on the structures during their use.

The platform is constantly evolving with the main objectives being the development of new technologies, new materials and more efficient calculation methods for the design and monitoring of structures.

Examples of experimental projects

  • Improve the design methods for large embankments and rockfill dams and optimize the exploitation of natural resources
  • Propose and validate sizing methods for structures subject to repeated loads, such as wind turbines, transport infrastructure, port structures ...
  • To develop modelling tools for erosion kinetics and the mechanical behavior of eroded soils to improve the stability of hydraulic structures (dams, sea walls etc) subject to internal erosion.

The socio-economic impacts of this work mainly concern partner companies for whom the major objective is to strengthen their competitiveness on the French and especially international market.


Since 2005, the GeM has had a large triaxial cell to test samples of 1 metre in diameter on granular materials (particles up to 160 mm). It is one of the three largest triaxial cells in the world in operation, and the largest in Europe.

Granulometer with quasi-elastic diffusion and particle counter integrated in the sampler (CAD instrumentation) (laser particle size and particle counter integrated in the sampler and gas chromatograph)
Gas Chromatograph (SHIMADZU)
DCSS Shear Machine and Cyclic Triaxial Machine
Climatic enclosure and CO2 regulation kit (Carbonation enclosure) * SECASI technologies 2 direct traction and creep benches for concrete test specimens and traction bench on concrete at a young age (Metro Measurement)
Installation for industrial gas implementation
AERESPACE Air Conditioning
FISHER SCIENTIFIC Laboratory benches
Struers chainsaw
SERVILAB Climate Chamber
Description of creep flexion (FUGRO)
HPC (High Performance Computing) cluster: a supercomputer that allows researchers to provide significant and distributed computing power, thus promoting availability and optimization of resources. It consists of a front-end server and several computing nodes running under a 64-bit Linux distribution.
Acoustic emission system
Fast cameras
Set of 4 pH regulators
Low-capacity compression press
Isothermal calorimetry
Ultrasound - device for monitoring the setting and hardening of newly laid concrete

Published on March 9, 2017 Updated on March 13, 2017