Technical Visits

Half-day and full-day technical visits to interesting projects in the vicinity of Nantes and to research facilities are planned during the Symposium. They are guided by local engineers. Visits will also be open to accompanying persons. More detailed information will be available in the Final Programme and website.

Times are based on departure and return to the Conference Center. All visit times are subject to change. Please book your onward travel with appropriate allowance for unforeseen delays. While we expect all tours to operate, the Organising Committee reserves the right to cancel any tour with an insufficient number of registered attendees by August 1, 2018.

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TV 1: Wind tunnel of the CSTB and swell basin of the Ecole Centrale Nantes

Wednesday, September 19, 14:00-17:00 Cost: €20 (max. 40 persons)

The Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel at the CSTB site in Nantes is used for full-scale studies of building and construction components, as well as of vehicles and transport equipment. All types of climate conditions can be reproduced: snow, rain, sleet, fog, sandstorms, cyclones, heatwaves, etc. The Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel offers a wide range of testing possibilities for areas as diverse as construction and civil engineering, national defense, shipyards, automotive industry, aerospace.

The Swell basin of Ecole Centrale de Nantes is the largest in France. It is 50 m long, 30 m wide and 5 m deep. It is equipped with a segmented wave generator composed of 48 independent flaps for generating directional swells. The maximum height of swells is 1m for regular swells, 0.8m for irregular swells. Waves of very high amplitude, almost 2m peak to valley height can be generated by temporally or spatially focusing the wave energy. A wind generation system producing a sectional airflow of 3m by 3m with velocities up to 15m/s can be placed above the basin.

Wind tunnel of the CSTB © Florence Joubert and swell basin of the Ecole Centrale Nantes © ECN  

TV 2: Geotechnical Centrifuge, Pavement fatigue test track and Cable fatigue test bench at IFSTTAR

Thursday, September 20, 09:00-12:00 Cost: €20 (max. 45 persons) 

The geotechnical centrifuge of IFSTTAR equipped with an earthquake simulator and robotic manipulator, uses small-scale models to study the behaviour of geotechnical structures such as foundations, offshore anchorages, fill or retaining walls. The results can be directly transposed to full-scale structures and provide a means of validating numerical simulations. Tests under controlled macrogravity conditions are also performed for the approval testing of aeronautical and medical equipment. With the CEA-Cesta centrifuge, which is used for non-geotechnical applications it is the only one of its kind in France and one of the largest centrifuges in the world (a radius of 5.5 metres, loads of up to 2 tonnes with a maximum acceleration of 100g).
The pavement fatigue test track allows IFSTTAR to carry out accelerated tests on real pavement structures under heavy loads up to a severe level of damage. The performance of this carousel (four 20 metre arms each bearing loads of between 45 to 130 kN at a maximum speed of 100 km/h), makes it one of the largest facilities of this type in the world. In addition to the circular test track, the laboratory has two linear traffic simulators for smaller scale tests to measure the ability or road structures, surfacing or road elements to withstand traffic loads.

The cable fatigue test bench enables IFSTTAR to conduct full-scale tests on the cables used in civil engineering or other applications (bridge cables and anchorages, offshore installations). Such tests are necessary to validate innovative engineering solutions and ensure the tested product is durable and maintains its integrity under real operating loads (static tensile stress and cyclic variations in forces and tensile and flexural stresses). Acoustic sensors are used to detect and localise any failures that occur during testing. This is the only facility of its type in France, and one of only three in the whole world.

Geotechnical Centrifuge and Pavement fatigue test track © IFSTTAR ECN

TV 3: Saint-Nazaire Bridge

Thursday, September 20, 08:30-12:00 Cost: €50 (max. 50 persons) 

The Saint-Nazaire bridge crosses the estuary of the Loire River and connects the city of Saint-Nazaire on the right bank to the north to the city of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins on the left bank to the south. The bridge is supporting the departmental road D 213 and was opened to traffic on October 18, 1975.

The cable-stayed metal structure measures 720 m long. With the two access viaducts, the bridge has a total length of 3,356 m, which makes the Saint-Nazaire bridge the longest bridge in France. With its central span of 404 m long, the bridge owned the world record for a cable-stayed metal bridge during eight years.

Saint-Nazaire Bridge and Loire Estuary ©  Médiathèque Nantes-Saint-Nazaire ECN

TV 4: Cheviré Bridge

Thursday, September 20, 14:00-17:00 Cost: €50 (max. 30 persons) 

Located in the city of Nantes on the Loire River, the Cheviré Bridge, with a total length of 1365 m, has a central span of 242 m and provides a 52 m high maritime navigation gauge over the highest waters. It is a box-girder type bridge built using the cantilever method for the two access viaducts made of prestressed concrete. The central span is a steel box girder with an orthotropic deck and was put on its concrete cantilevers by lifting. The carriageway, supporting three lanes of traffic in each direction, is 24.60 m wide with a slope of 2.5%.

Cheviré Bridge

TV 5: The new Railway Station of Nantes

Friday, September 21, 10:00-12:00 Cost: €20 (max. 50 persons) 

The Nantes station transformation project aims to improve its capacity. To save space, the project plans to create a mezzanine station over the tracks to connect the two existing buildings of the station This new station will offer services and shops to visitors: reception, waiting room, information, but also press, takeaway, catering ... The new structure is 160 m long, 25 m wide and 10 m high. It is a structure of glass and concrete resting on poles of plant shape under a perforated roof and uses Ultra High Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete.

Project of the new Railway Station of Nantes built with UHPFRC © Médiathèque

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