Sustained load testing on building materials and structural components


Construction materials are known to exhibit time-dependent deformations. Depending on the structural application it is essential to correctly quantify and predict long-term deformations at controlled load. At low service loads linear visco-elasticity can be assumed and a time-dependent compliance function (deformation per unit stress) can be determined. At higher relative load levels micro-damage is introduced during loading which caused progressively growing stress redistributions until a growing macro-crack ultimately leads to failure (tertiary creep). 

The Magnel-Vandepitte laboratory is well-equipped to perform sustained load tests on standard material specimens as well as structural components at controlled standard conditions.

The equipment includes 

  • 30 hydraulically controlled load frames for compressive creep (pressure maintained by gas bottle);
  • Pressure maintained by pressurized gas bottles;
  • Active servo-hydraulic control of load levels for 16+24 independent setups;
  • 16 x 600 kN actuators (hollow cylinders);
  • 24 x 220 kN actuators (hollow cylinders);
  • 6 x 50 kN actuators (tensile jack);
  • Manual deformation measurements by DEMEC sensors;
  • Automatic data acquisition of selected setup by HBM Quantum dataloggers


Channel sustained load pump


Reinforced concrete beams subject to sustained loads


Sustained load test on post-installed adhesive anchors



Research activities include 

  • Long-term creep of carbon friendly concretes;
  • Sustained load behaviour of geopolymer concrete;
  • Self-healing of concrete creep;
  • Creep at elevated temperatures up to 95 degrees Celsius;
  • Sustained load behaviour of post-installed adhesive anchor systems;
  • Time-to failure behaviour of post-installed adhesive anchor systems;
  • Sustained load behaviour of FRP strengthening systems;
  • Sustained load behaviour of fibre-reinforced concrete (steel fibres, macro-synthetic fibres);
  • Tensile and compressive creep



Prof. Roman Wan-Wendner