We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The ELSA HopLab is a specialised laboratory (based on Hopkinson bar techniques) for the study of the behaviour of materials and structural components to very fast dynamic loads, such as those due to blast and impact, where knowledge of the material behaviour under high strain-rates is necessary. The laboratory has unique features with respect to the magnitude of the applied forces and the large size of the specimens to be tested.
The facility is operated by highly experienced scientific and technical staff and is supported by specialists in numerical simulation (see EUROPLEXUS).
The services offered by ELSA HopLab enable scientists to carry out high-quality research through unique experimental facilities for the characterisation of brittle or ductile materials and components at dynamic strain-rates and at high/low temperatures.
This is the world’s largest Hopkinson Bar extending for a length of more than 200 meters. Thus, large material samples or structural components and sub-assemblies can be accurately tested under the required dynamic conditions. It features:
Modified Hopkinson bar designed for the compressive and tensile characterisation of brittle materials using large size specimens (concrete, glass, mortar, geo-materials etc.). It features:
Smaller Hopkinson bars of various bar diameters and lengths are also available for the testing of small material specimens under different dynamic loading types:
The ELSA HopLab is equipped with high-speed digital cameras (up to 50000 fps) and it has expertise for installing strain-gages and other sensors.
The laboratory has been involved in collaborative European competitive projects (SAFEWAY - Safety improvement of vehicle passengers through innovative on-road "bio-mechanics" safety features, ANCHR - Anchorages in normal and high performance concretes subjected to medium and high strain rates, LISSAC - Limit strains for severe accident conditions, REVISA - Reactor vessel integrity in severe accidents, etc.) as well as in international ones (DAM-CONCRETE for DHS, USA).
Dynamic performance of adobe masonry components. The project investigated the compressive strength of two different mixtures of adobe (in oven- and air-dried conditions) at three different strain-rates ranging from static to fast dynamic.
Steel under severe high impact. The project focused on the dynamic testing of large specimens of high strength, innovative steels for concrete reinforcement with possible applications in the building and defence sectors.
High strain rate behaviour of dam concrete. Experiments and multiscale modelling, sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security S&T Infrastructure and Geophysical Division.