Rolling Load Simulator

The Rolling Load Simulator (ROLLS), located in the structures lab in Ellis Hall, was unveiled by Dr. Amir Fam and his research team in July 2018.

This one of a kind system simulates the forces borne by a bridge when large and small vehicles drive across. It collects data which are then analyzed by engineers to assess the performance of all aspects of the bridge structure, including the deck, girders, joints, and connections of many types of bridges.

Traditionally, bridge materials are tested using a pulsating technique that sees a large hammer-like instrument pounding the material repeatedly in the same spot. But in reality, this isn’t how bridges are used in the real world. By driving back and forth over the test material, the simulator recreates the forces bridges undergo every day and over a long period of time.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) was one of the first partners to use the load simulator to test bridges in Ontario. In addition to industry partners, the Rolling Load Simulator will provide a unique opportunity for Queen’s students, who are exposed to one of the more unique research facilities in the world, and have access to use the load simulator for research projects.

  

  

  

  

  

Queen's Gazette, Thursday, July 12, 2018, Concrete ideas for the future - Queen’s University civil engineering researchers design and build Canada’s first Moving Load Simulator for highway bridge testing