Stability and delay compensation for real-time substructure testing

A P Darby, M S Williams, A Blakeborough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Citations (SciVal)


Real-time substructure testing is a method for establishing the dynamic behavior of structural systems. The method separates a complex structure into physical and numerically modeled substructures, which interact in real-time allowing time-dependent nonlinear behavior of the physical specimen to be accurately represented. Displacements are applied to the physical specimen using hydraulic actuators and the resulting measured forces are fed back to the numerical substructure. This feedback loop is implemented as a time-stepping routine. One of the key factors in obtaining reliable results using this method is the accurate compensation of the delayed response of the actuator. If this is not accounted for, instability of the feedback loop is likely to occur. This paper presents a method for estimating the delay while a test is in progress and accurately compensating for it during the test. The stability of both linear and nonlinear single-actuator systems is examined and the behavior of twin-actuator systems controlling two degrees-of-freedom at the substructure interface is presented. The effectiveness of the method is clearly demonstrated by comparisons between experimental and theoretical behavior
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276--1284
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


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