CSTB developed the test platform. Earthquake phenomena can be broken down into three distinct simple loads, and a separate test can be carried out on the test platform for each load. The first test consists of deforming the support to which the cladding is added on into a parallelogram shape, by applying a monotonous increasing deformation of the model support, followed by a cyclic loading phase. The other tests consist of applying loads to the test piece by generating an acceleration of the support to which the cladding is added on at a specific frequency and amplitude. The orientation of the load may either be perpendicular or parallel to the plane of the support.
For the moment, only add-on cladding can be assessed. "Our range of skills is now being broadened to include other products. Research work is ongoing to test a wider variety of construction processes to determine the resistance of buildings to earthquakes, for example such as sandwich panels and glass façades," explains Philippe Rivillon, CSTB engineer.
The future protocol will be validated by exploratory experiments and the Specialised Group concerned, so that final assessment processes can be set up.