Laboratorio Prove Materiali e Strutture



FEO LucianoDirettore
RIZZANO GianvittorioMembro
FRATERNALI FernandoMembro
MONTUORI RosarioMembro
PILUSO VincenzoMembro
REALFONZO RobertoMembro
ASCIONE FrancescoMembro
LATOUR MassimoMembro
MANCUSI GeminianoMembro
FORTUNATO AntonioMembro
PETTI LuigiMembro
Francavilla Antonella BiancaMembro
Pisapia AlessandroMembro
ESPOSITO CIROTecnico di Laboratorio
PERRI FRANCESCOTecnico di Laboratorio


The STRuctural ENGineering Test Hall (STRENGTH) Laboratory of the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Salerno was founded in the early 1990s. The activity is based on tests on building materials and structures, both for scientific purposes and as a third-party activity. The laboratory is equipped with a large base plate for the realization of contrast frames, it allows to perform experimental activities on large-scale models, even in 1:1 scale. It also has a centralized hydraulic power supply system, servo-regulated, which can supply the actuators in service with a maximum oil flow rate in the circuit of about 10 l/s, suitable to perform dynamic tests. This configuration gives the Laboratory a specific versatility for carrying out seismic tests.

Research activity

The research activity of the STRENGTH Laboratory is primarily devoted to the experimental study of the seismic behaviour exhibited by ordinary and prestressed concrete structures, steel structures, and masonry structures. In this framework, currently, a noteworthy part of the activity is devoted to the retrofitting of existing structures, both with traditional and innovative techniques, including in particular those that employ composite materials with a polymer (FRP) or cementitious (FRCM) matrix. Extensive research is also being performed on earthquake damping systems, with particular regard to metal structures. Concerning the latter, a further field of experimental investigation concerns the behaviour of semi-rigid connections. Focusing on the use of new materials in the field of Civil Engineering, a remarkable part of the Laboratory's activity is also dedicated to experiments on structures entirely made with FRP pultruded profiles and on the related structural connections, both bolted and glued. A further research topic concerns the mechanical characterization of fiber-reinforced concrete with short steel or polymer fibers (FRC). Finally, a specific section of the Laboratory is equipped for biomechanics tests aimed at the mechanical characterization of biological tissues and prostheses used in surgery.


The Laboratory is supplied with a wide range of modern equipment, briefly described below:

  • Universal machine, with double-acting servo-hydraulic jack, Schenck Hydropuls S56 (capacity ± 630kN, stroke ± 125 mm);
  • Compression testing machine with double-acting servo-hydraulic jack, Schenck RBS 4000-E2 (capacity 4000 kN, stroke ± 100 mm);
  • Italsigma universal hydraulic servo-hydraulic machine for high elements (capacity 3000kN, maximum height of the specimens3300 mm);
  • Vishay System 5000 data acquisition system for LVDT and laser displacement transducers, strain gauges, thermocouples, load cells, and "high level" sensors;
  • No. 2 steel reaction frames for the application of both horizontal and vertical static and dynamic actions on real scale structural elements (maximum height of the specimens 6000 mm);
  • Steel reaction frame for carrying out bending tests on full-scale elements (maximum length of the specimens 5500 mm);
  • IDS R.I.S. K2 two-channel georadar (900 MHz and 2 GHz monostatic antennas);
  • Paganessi mechanical vibrodine (45.6 Nm, max 200 Hz, max 6000 r.p.m.);
  • No. 1 ultra-dynamic 250kN MTS actuator;
  • No. 9 MTS actuators from 250kN to 2000 kN (stroke from ± 100 mm to ± 533 mm);
  • Loading inflatable tanks (4.00x4.00 m with a maximum loading height of 0.70 m);
  • Tecnix VPI-703 color video endoscope (up to a depth of 25 m);
  • Schmidt sclerometer;
  • Hilti pacometer;
  • Portable system for sonic tests Boviar S.Q.S V3;
  • Sirio 4000-cs portable ultrasound system (25, 50 and 100 Hz probes);
  • Flir Systems ThermaCAM B4 thermal camera (measurement range -20 ° C ÷ + 100 ° C);
  • 60 kN pull-out test system;
  • Hilti rail core drilling machine for specimens up to 250 mm in diameter;
  • System for tests with flat jacks of dimensions 350x259x4.5 mm3 with digital deform meter of the DGEI250 type ;
  • Series of hydraulic jacks with capacities from 70 kN to 2000 kN ;
  • Rari-Press three-phase electric pump for powering hydraulic jacks with a maximum pressure of 1000 bar ;
  • Vallen system for the detection of acoustic emissions, with 8 channels complete with 4 low frequency sensors (25-80 kHz) and 4 high frequency sensors (100-450 kHz, resonant at 150 kHz), with dedicated software for the collection and data analysis.

Third-party activity

The STRENGTH Laboratory performs third party tests for the certification of construction materials and for the execution of in situ acceptance tests. The main types of tests performed by the Laboratory are the following:

Laboratory tests:

  • Compression test on concrete conglomerate specimens;
  • Compression test on masonry specimens;
  • Diagonal compression test on masonry specimens;
  • Tensile test on steel and FRP profiles;
  • Tensile and bending test on steel bars;
  • Indirect tensile test on concrete conglomerate specimens;
  • Bending test on prismatic specimens of concrete conglomerate;
  • Bending test on full-scale reinforced concrete elements;
  • Viscosity test in a thermoregulated environment;
  • Fatigue test on full-scale steel elements and / or connections.

In Situ tests:

  • Load test on floors, foundation piles, and bridge decks;
  • Dynamic characterization test of structures;
  • Mechanical characterization tests of reinforced concrete and masonry structures through semi-destructive and non-destructive investigations (core drilling, sclerometric and ultrasonic tests, Sonreb method, flat jacks, removal of reinforcing bars);
  • Pull-out test;
  • Pacometric test;
  • Evaluation of the corrosion of reinforcement in concrete;
  • Carbonation test;
  • Endoscopic test;
  • Surveys with thermal imaging camera and/or georadar.

Below you can download the application forms for tests on construction materials (bars and concrete) according to law 05/11/1971 n. 1086 and the applied rate table.