Centrifuge Laboratory


General Characteristics

The geotechnical beam centrifuge at DTU Civil Engineering was built in 1976 and was upgraded in 1998. It has a capacity of 100 g-ton and can provide a gravitational acceleration of 95g. The centrifuge arm is 1.7 m from rotational axis to reference hinge. The U-shaped yoke is 0.93 m high (hence platform radius is 2.63 m). A maximum of 350 kg soil sample and test setup can be applied. Three sample containers, two circular and a rectangular, are available. One side of the rectangular container is made of Plexiglas which makes it possible to visually monitor the model. The centrifuge has been used for testing sand, clay and limestone samples. Sand samples can be prepared by use of sand rain or spot pouring methods, whereas clay samples either are reconstituted intact clay or kaolin clay, both consolidated according to planned tests by preload or in the centrifuge (Leth et al., 2008).

Data Acquisition System

The main feature is the execution of the tests by use of a flight pc located on the centrifuge.

The flight pc is remotely controlled wirelessly from the control room.  This enables a setup where only slip rings are used to provide the necessary power supply to the equipment on the centrifuge (220/380 VAC, 5/10/24 VDC). 

The current data acquisition system consists of two USB DAQ devices from National Instruments which provide 16 analog inputs (16-bit, 250 kS/s), 12 simultaneously sampled analog inputs (24-bit, 50 kS/s maximum sampling rate) and two analog output (16-bit, 833 kS/s).

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Current and Past Test Setups

  • Mini piezocone penetometer
  • Laterally loaded pile in sand (video)
  • Active earth pressure on sheet pile walls
  • Group effects of laterally loaded piles
  • Stresses in concrete pipes


Varvara Zania (contact person)


Varvara Zania
Associate Professor
DTU Civil Engineering
+45 45 25 50 92