The Civil Engineering Department at the University of Manitoba is the administrative headquarters of SIMTReC - Centre for Structural Innovation and Monitoring Technologies Inc. (formerly known as ISIS Canada Resource Centre) is pioneering the use of advanced materials for civil structures. SIMTReC is focusing on the rehabilitation, repair, strengthening, and new construction using fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites for civil structures, and on structural health monitoring using fibre optic sensor (FOS) technology. SIMTReC has wide and well-developed contacts with the construction industry, and has spearheaded many field-application projects, including a wide range of innovative concrete, steel, and wooden structures reinforced with FRP composites. This makes the University of Manitoba the destination for civil engineers, researchers, and manufacturers seeking knowledge and looking for innovation in infrastructure.
The response of structures subjected to a variety of monotonic and dynamic loads is investigated both experimentally and numerically. Current research activities include:
• Corrosion-free concrete bridge decks.
• Fatigue behaviour of concrete bridge deck slabs under various environmental conditions.
• Structural health monitoring utilizing FOS and other types of sensors.
• The effect of temperature on concrete reinforced/prestressed with fibre-reinforced polymers.
• Serviceability of concrete reinforced/prestressed with FRPs.
• Structural behaviour, long-term evaluation, and durability of FRP composites for concrete structures.
• Development and durability of FOS for infrastructure applications.
• Field implementation of FRP-reinforced concrete structures.
• Strengthening of timber bridges.
• Behaviour of cold-formed members and built-up girders.
• Advanced composite materials for Transmission Poles.
• Fatigue considerations in Power Transmission Lines.
• Behaviour of fabric-formed concrete structural members
The W.R. McQuade Structures Laboratory
The W.R. McQuade Structures Laboratory, which has approximately 450 m2 of floor area and an 18 m x 19 m strong floor as well as an L-shaped reaction wall (3.5 m wide × 6 m high per leg), was constructed in 2002. The laboratory is equipped with two closed loop servo hydraulic testing machines (1000 and 5000 kN), four 1000-kN capacity MTS actuators (one fully-dynamic and 3 quasi-static), a number of portable universal steel reaction frames, two 60 gpm pumps and controllers for the servo-controlled apparatus, and three state-of-the-art data-acquisition systems. This testing facility provides a system capable of loading full-scale prototypes and structural members under both static and dynamic loading in an infinitely variable format.
The structures laboratory also houses two large walk-in environmental chambers (2.2 m wide ×5.5 m long× 2.5 m high) on the strong floor area, one under a dedicated reaction frame with a 250 kN capacity actuator to enable simultaneous structural testing under varied environmental conditions with temperature variations between +40°C and -40°C.
The structures laboratory and its neighbouring rooms also contain several specialized laboratories including a durability laboratory designed to weather materials and simulate field conditions, an FRP manufacturing laboratory to manufacture the various structural shapes required for FRP structures, and a concrete and materials testing facility for small scale tests.
The McQuade Structures Laboratory is also serviced by two 10-ton overhead cranes and contains a diverse range of minor testing apparatus, including hydraulic jacks and load cells.
Structural Health Monitoring Support Centre
A major feature of our structural research facilities is the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) Support Centre. The primary goal of that Centre is to evolve as a National Centre of expertise, with the collaboration of professors from Civil Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, for providing technical support for SHM and Civionics technologies to civil engineering field projects across Canada. The collaboration of the Centre with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering involves the purchase of equipment for the Structures Laboratory, the development of a data management system for SHM projects; as well as the development of sensors, which can be used in monitoring applications.