School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering


A Civil fixed-beam centrifuge

The fixed-beam centrifuge in action


Contact us to discuss your individual requirements if you are interested in using our facilities and consulting services.


Wind Tunnel and Wave Flume (Oscillator) Testing

Beam and Drum Centrifuge

Our excellent research and testing facilities in the School of Civil include fully-equipped laboratories for geomechanics, structures and hydraulics testing and research.

  1. Major equipment
  2. Site investigation equipment
  3. Hardware

    Major equipment

    • Amsler, Baldwin and Instron test machines
    • SonTek/YSI 16-MHz 3D Micro Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV)
    • Load cells
    • 3D-Morphology LP Laser profiler
    • 6DOF motion platform (Hexapod)
    • PIV
    • Multi-channel hot wire anemometers and pressure transducer
    • Linear variable differential transformer laser for displacement measurements
    • Fixed-beam centrifuge - 40g-tonne capacity with 1.8m radius platform
    • Drum centrifuge - 1.2m diameter and 500g capacity with precision-controlled turntable
    • Cycylic triaxial and simple shear equipment
    • There is a comprehensive range of other soil-testing equipment and purpose-built storage for soil samples.

    Closed-loop boundary layer wind tunnel

    The boundary layer wind tunnel is located in the Structures laboratory of UWA. It is a closed-loop wind tunnel with a main test section (Section 1) of 2.86m x 2.23m x 5 m (W x H x L). The maximum wind speed in this section is about 10 m/s. Higher wind speed can be achieved in the smaller sections. The wind tunnel can be used for research by the PhD and Master students as well as the final year students for their final year projects. This wind tunnel can also be used for Consulting Projects for industries. The equipment we have allows us to measure wind velocities, wind forces and moments on structures using force and pressure sensors as well as flow-induced structural vibrations etc.  

    Wind Tunnel

    Wave Flume and Oscillator

    The wave flume has a size of 0.4m × 0.5m x 15m (W × H x L). Both steady currents and free-surface waves can be generated in the flume. The maximum velocity of the steady current is up to 0.5m/s. The period of the regular wave ranges from 1.0s-5.0s; the maximum wave height is 20cm. The flume can also generate the random wave by using a realistic time series. When it is not used as a wave flume, a belt-driven linear actuator (HISAKA) can be used in the flume to achieve a linear oscillating movement to simulate an oscillatory flow. With this oscillator, hydrodynamic loads of models, especially the irregular model geometry, can be measured using high accuracy and fast response load cells over a wide range of KC number and Reynolds number.

    6DOF motion platform (hexapod)

    6DOFThe 6-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) motion platform (hexapod) is located in the Fluid Mechanics/Hydrodynamics Laboratory of UWA. The platform has a payload of 1000kg. It can be used to simulate a wave condition to study of fluid sloshing behaviour in 2D or 3D containers. Equipped with multi-channel high frequency response pressure transducers, a 5W continuous laser and a high speed camera, we are able to study the pressure and force as well as the free surface of fluid sloshing inside a container under 6DOF movements. For more details about the hexapod, please contact with A/P Tongming Zhou and Dr. Wenhua Zhao.


    Large and Mini O-tubes

    Mini O-tubeMini O-tubes

    The O-shaped enclosed circulation flume (O-tube) is a pressurized flume that can generate steady current, oscillatory flow, and combined steady current and oscillatory flow to simulate the coastal environment flow. 

    A miniature O-tube of scale 1:5 has been completed for the purpose of modification and development. The mini O-tube covers an area of 5m long and 3m wide. The test section is 1.8m in length, 0.3m in depth and 0.2m in width. The mini O-tube can generate high-speed steady flow and oscillatory flow, which have the maximum velocity up to 2m/s. The period of the oscillatory flow ranges from 0.5-20s. The mini O-tube can also generate the random wave flow by inputting a realistic time series. 

    A few practical projects have been conducted in the mini O-tube, which including PLUTO riser platform pad stability model testing, PLUTO rock berm stability model testing, etc. and satisfying results have been achieved.  

    Large O-tubeLarge O-tube

    The prototype O-tube covers an area of 25m long and 15m wide. The test section is 15.4m in length, 1.0 m in width and 1.4m in depth.  The diameter of the circular pipe is 1.0m.

    The prototype O-tube has a powerful pump which can generate high-speed steady current, oscillatory flow, combined steady current and oscillatory flow and random wave flow. The maximum velocity of the flow can reach up to 2m/s.

    Many experiments for offshore pipelines can be conducted in the large O-tube with large scales even with full scales. It will be widely used in the research area of coastal and oceanic engineering.

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    Site investigation equipment

    • T-Bar and spherical penetrometers
    • Seismic cone
    • Surface wave (SASW) equipment
    • Dynamic pile-testing instrumentation and software
    • Marchetti dilatometer

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    School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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    Last updated:
    Wednesday, 13 February, 2013 8:11 AM