WATCH: Crew moves Shell Element Tester in Structures Lab

Major renovation of CivMin’s Structural Testing Facility starts with the impressive one-day move of the Shell Element Tester 

One of the biggest lab renovations in University of Toronto’s history is underway.  

Last Friday, the Shell Element Tester (SET) was moved in preparation for further construction in the Structural Testing Facility that the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering operates in the Galbraith and Sanford Fleming Buildings.  

The first stage was a massive undertaking.  

With snow coming down hard, a flatbed truck carrying a forklift rolled up to the loading dock just after 8 a.m.  

The forklift was craned in and lowered onto the facility floor. Then, using a specialized team and equipment, the SET was raised off the floor, pulled back from its original position, rotated 180 degrees, and relocated 10 meters to the north wall of the facility.  

Crews wrapped up work by late afternoon.

Department Chair Prof. Brent Sleep remarks on the significance of this stage of the process.

“After many months of planning, it is exciting to see this first step in the development of our scale multi-dimensional testing facility. This state-of-the art facility will help our professors, students, and industry partners address some of the most challenging problems in structural resilience under extreme conditions. ”

The SET is a one-of-a-kind 60-tonne steel frame with 40 hydraulic actuators. 

This is the second time the machine has moved since it was commissioned. The last time was following a 2008 renovation. 

Read more on the Structural Testing Facility renovations happening in 2022

By David Goldberg