EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – MTS Systems Corporation, a global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, announced it has developed the world’s most advanced, large-scale, privately owned seismic test system for Kajima Corporation Technical Research in Tokyo, Japan.

This massive custom MTS seismic system, referred to as the W-DECKER, was developed for this major Japanese general contractor, and is capable of reproducing the world’s largest amplitude of long-period earthquake ground motion. It can simulate nearly every major earthquake on record, including the Great Tohoku Earthquake that occurred in March 2011. The data that is generated from the testing informs researchers and developers about technologies that will increase the seismic resistance of nuclear power plants and skyscrapers, as well as other large or small structures.

"This state-of-the-art seismic test system delivers the control, payloads and long-stroke capabilities necessary to consistently and reliably reproduce long-period earthquake events in the test lab," said Dr. Rich Baker, Senior Vice President of MTS Test. "With this controlled and repeatable simulation, the W-DECKER is yielding new insights for predicting internal damage to structures, including the upper floors of skyscrapers, and for developing new countermeasure technologies that may minimize this damage from earthquakes."

The new seismic system is an upgrade to a legacy MTS system installed at Kajima in 1991. This upgrade features a unique two-layer design with one layer positioned on top of another layer. The first layer is the main ‘shake table’ that reproduces large seismic motions. The second layer is a long-period motion table that adds the increased stroke capacity necessary to simulate the impact on the structural mass during long-period seismic events. Together, the two layers, or tables, enable testing on full-scale structures, yielding more accurate results than those achieved from tests conducted on scale models.
"The MTS North America and MTS Japan teams worked together and provided excellent support," said Jun Tagami, a Senior Researcher at Kajima. "Operating rates are exceeding one hundred percent and our testing contract schedule is nearly full for the next year."

According to MTS President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Graves, the W-DECKER project exemplifies the valuable long-term partnerships that MTS develops with its customers. "As several decades of partnership with Kajima demonstrate, we are committed to ensuring that our customers get the greatest possible value from their MTS investments. We collaborate with them to upgrade their existing technology so they can cost-effectively meet new industry demands," Graves said. "We are thrilled to be helping seismic engineers develop the next generation of structures that better withstand major earthquakes, helping to protect the lives and local communities from the impact of these devastating events."