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Geotechnical Modelling Basket Centrifuges

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Geotechnical Modeling Basket Centrifuges – Basket length less than 1.2mGeotechnical Centrifuges – Basket length equal to or greater than 1.2m

C60 – C61 – C67 – C70C72 – C80 – C84 – C85 – C90


Geotechnical modeling basket centrifuges are sophisticated pieces of simulation equipment designed for the study of the behavior of structures on foundations and of soil mechanics, with the help of a reduced scale model. To a geotechnical engineer, they are the equivalent of a wind tunnel in aerodynamics or of ahydrodynamic hull in hydrodynamics.

Nowadays an essential complement to numerical simulation, reduced scale modeling can validate, cancel, or allow to modify hypothesis made prior to numerical simulation. The correlation of numerical simulation results and of physical simulation dramatically increases the reliability of your study.


Additional tools or simulation equipment can be added to your machine which allow to:

- automate test procedures and to run a series of several experiments on a single model (with an in-flight Controlled Tooling System),

- to run complex dynamic simulation experiments (with an in-flight earthquake simulator).


The essential difference between a geotechnical centrifuge and a laboratory centrifuge is the use of a swinging basket – in the case of a geotechnical centrifuge – where the model payload is placed. The bottom of the basket is constantly perpendicular to the sum of the earth gravitation vector and of the centrifuge acceleration vector. As the rotation speed increases, the bottom of the basket reaches a position which is seen as pratically vertical by the bare eye, this at radial acceleration levels of 20g and above. At these acceleration levels, the earth gravitation is virtually negligible marking the bottom of the acceleration range at which most geotechnical experiments are conducted.


The design of all ACTIDYN machines revolves around a few guiding principles. The list of the most significant principles includes:

  • the double horizontal arm holding the basket, also the most obvious;
  • the space between both arms holding the basket determins the size of the basket, hence the maximum size of the model that can be loaded on the machine.


Another important characteristics to pay heed to is the arm length – and subsequently the type of anchor – as this dimension determines the gradient of acceleration over the surface of the basket of your centrifuge.

While the acquisition of your simulation equipment is a significant step in your life and your carreer, your biggest investment will be derived indirectly.

The building built around your machine, the preparation and set up timesthe maintenance and most critically the power consumption of your machine will be most substantial and will appear in the global financial statements of your project. Interestingly these expenses depend largely on the concepts applied to your centrifuge and the way your machine was built. Which is why ACTIDYN’s experience is not only unique but also crucial to your project.

Regardless of your geotechnical modeling requirements, you now hold the tool that will allow you to reach your goals in the fastest and most efficient of ways all the while ensuring your safety at the lowest overall cost and the highest quality level.

And if you haven’t yet made your choice, the table below shall help you do so:


Comparative Table of Geotechnical Centrifuges Performances


Force (g x t)4.8501502202404406001,200700

Radius (m)

Basket Width (m)

Basket Length (m)

Basket Depth (m)

Maximum Acceleration (g)80130130130130200200350200

Maximum Payload under Maximum Acceleration (kg)602305001,2001,4002,2001,0002,0002,000

Maximum Payload (kg)605001,5002,2002,4002,4004,0008,0005,000

Maximum Payload under Maximum Acceleration (g)80100100100100100150140150

Power Consumption at Maximum Acceleration (kW)6251002202803205001,2001,200