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Horizontal shake table
Dept of Civil Engineering, IT-BHU houses a horizontal shake table at Structural Dynamics Lab
since May 2007. The Table was designed in-house by Dr S. Chandrasekaran and Dr. P.K.Singh;
fabricated & commissioned by Milenium Technologies (I) Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, under the braces of
Special Assistance Programme Project funded by University Grants Commission.
It is a unidirectional shake table operates only in horizontal direction. The motion is simple
harmonic and works in the principle of crank mechanism, converting the rotary motion of the motor
to linear motion of the Table. It comprises of few important components namely: i) Sliding Table; ii)
Driving mechanism; as well as iiii) control panel
The sliding table is of size 1.5m x 1.2m to cater the scaled model tests under dynamic excitation
and designed to have a pay load of 200kg. The Table has a stainless steel top containing array of
tapered holes to facilitate mounting of the model. It slides on Linear motion stainless steel GUIDES
that are mounted on sliding bearings. The bearings are attached to a solid bottom comprising the
steel frame section of the Table bottom. The bottom plate is connected to the foundation plate by
MS bolts. Bottom plate of the Table and the foundation plate are separated by neoprene pads to
avoid any friction generated between the plates when the Table is on motion.

Shake Table with model

Drive Mechanism consists of a motor, coupling, gear box, crank and connecting rod. The rotary
motion is transferred to the crank and connecting rod through the coupling and gear box. Crank
mechanism has a locking screw arrangement that can be used to set the desired amplitude of
motion. The connecting rod is connected between the crank and the Table, which also has a
locking screw.

Drive Mechanism

Control mechanism is used to vary the frequency of the Table, by varying speed of the motor.
Operating frequency can be varied from 1 to 20Hz. Control panel has various push buttons for
easy operation.

Control panel

The whole mechanism of the Shake Table is designed to make the working simple and less
electronic controlled; rather the motion is made as mechanically controlled. The idea behind is that
it can be easy overhauled/repaired using the existing technical know how of the Lab staff. While
conventional imported Shake Tables shall cost very high, this in-house designed Table costs 1/5th
of that price and also cater to the on-going research and post-graduate teaching of the Dept.

Specifications of the Table

Horizontal (uni-directional)
Max pay load:
Top Table size:
1.5m x 1.2m
Frequency range:
0 20Hz
Frequency control:
50mm (total amplitude 100mm)
Tentative g value:
0.1g till 3g
Maximum height of models:
Motor rating:
10HP, 3Phase, 440V, 1500rpm, Seimens make
Control panel:
4 wires, 3 phase, 440v input
Controller mechanism: Toshiba make for 10HP motor
Gear Box:
Reduction Gear Box 2:1- RotoFlex make
Practical limitations
Practically, frequency can be varied from 1 Hz to 22Hz; but as per the motor characteristics, it is
stable only when the motor runs at a minimum of 10% of its rated speed, implying that amplitude
variation can be 1mm to 20mm achieving g vale as 0.05 to 2. The Table can give only input of
sinusoidal motion, whose amplitude and frequency can be set for the desired g value; for example,
see the following illustration:
x = A sin t
x& = A cos t
&x& = 2 A sin t
For frequency, f=0.53Hz and amplitude of 50mm, Table shall receive an input of
&x& = (2f ) 2
= 0.55ms 2 = 0.056g

Operating procedure

Make Mains Off and ensure that there is no power supply to the Table
Close Lock Pin in the hole provided in the Crank Shaft Mechanism
Release screw on the connecting rod
Adjust the screw spanner provided in the Crank Mechanism to the desired amplitude
Lock the screw on the connecting rod
Release the Lock Pin in the Crank Shaft Mechanism
Switch the mains On
Press Start Button
Press Reset button and check that the frequency panel shows frequency count as 0.00
Increase the frequency count, slowly by pressing the Increase Button; Observe the motion
of the Table for any frictional noise, relatively slow movement, oil leak etc
11) Then slowly increase the frequency to the desired value

12) Now the Table is receiving the desired input for which response of the model can be
13) After recording the response, to Stop the Table, Press Reset Button; not the STOP
button. You will notice that the Table shall come to rest gradually.
14) Press STOP button and then switch off the Mains.

Discussions and inspection of Shake Table during manufacturing and installation