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Small Sloshing Table


This simple system features a motor and crank mechanism that drives the oscillation of a table in one axis. The surface of the table is of square shape with 0.6 m length. An electrical motor drives the rotation of a disk and after a mechanism to reduce the angular velocity a crank is used to transform the rotation to a linear oscillating motion. This sinusoidal oscillation has a maximum amplitude of 30 mm and design frequency up to 10 Hz. With adjustments to the reduction and crank mechanisms the value of the amplitude and frequency can be changed, but remain constant while the system is functioning. The table is schematized in Figure 1. The table can carry up to 50kg and it is provided by a metallic plate with a M6 holes grid in order to fix the container with all the measurements tools (e.g. cameras, optics, etc.) necessary to the experiment.



Figure 1: Schematic of the shake table

The small shake table can be used to allocate a reservoir filled with a liquid in order to study its sloshing behavior or small equipment needed to be test under certain excitation frequencies and amplitudes. It is particularly useful to characterize modes of oscillations, detecting different shapes in which the liquid can be excited.

The table is provided by:

  • An Optical Displacement Sensor (ODS) able to track the movement of the table with a precision of 20 μm and with an acquisition frequency of 250 Hz.
  • A single axis accelerometer which can be flush mounted on the tested object.

The measurement techniques available to characterize sloshing using a transparent reservoir are:

  • Backlight visualization: it is a visualization of what is happening inside the reservoir. It can be used to qualitatively understand the behavior of the fluid subjected to certain level of amplitude and frequency oscillation (fig. 2a and 2b).
  • Level and Detection Recording Technique (LedaR): it is a measurement technique to detect and measure the free surface shape and motion on a plane intercepting the interface itself. The result is a single line shape (fig. 2c and 2d).
  • Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV): it is a measurement technique used to measure the velocity field in a plane of the fluid. Commonly the plane is identified by a laser sheet. The results are velocity maps (fig. 2e and 2f).
  • Reference Image Topography (RIT): it is a measurement technique used to reconstruct the 3D shape of the free surface and its motion (fig. 2g and 2h).


Figure 2 Techniques applied on the small shake table (Simonini et al. [1-5], Fontanarosa [6])

[1] K. Myrillas, P. Planquart, A. Simonini, J-M. Buchlin and M. Schyns. "CFD and experimental investigation of sloshing parameters for the safety assessment of HLM reactors." Nuclear Engineering and Design, 312:317 326, 2017

[2] A. Simonini, R. Theunissen, A. Masullo and M. R. Vetrano. "PIV Adaptive Interrogation and Sampling with Image Projection applied to water sloshing." Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 2019. Submission accepted in 2018.

[3] A.Simonini, M.R. Vetrano, P. Colinet, P.Rambaud - "Particle Image Velocimetry applied to water sloshing due to a harmonic external excitation." - Proceedings of 17th International Symposia on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics - Lisbon, Portugal - 2014

[4] A. Simonini, T. Regert, M.R. Vetrano - "PIV applied to lateral sinusoidal sloshing: comparison with OpenFoam simulations." - Workshop on Non-Intrusive Measurements for Unsteady Flows and Aerodynamics - Poitiers, France – 2015

[5] A.Simonini, D. Fontanarosa, M.G. De Giorgi, M.R. Vetrano and P. Colinet - "Characterization of Free Surface Lateral Sloshing: application of Reference Image Topography." - 11th International Conference on Two-Phase Systems for Space and Ground Applications - Marseille, France - 2016

[6] Donato Fontanarosa. Experimental study of liquid slosh damping by means of reference image topography. Master's thesis, von Karman Institute – Università del Salento, 2015. 29, 44

The small shake table has been used to characterize sloshing behavior of liquid in reservoir for the Myrrha project (SCK-CEN), regarding scaling of sloshing in the plenum of a nuclear reactor, and for the Cryosloshing project (ESA), regarding scaling of sloshing for propellant management devices.


Myrrha project (SCK•CEN)

Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications. Preliminary studies of shaking behavior in a cylindrical reservoir: comparison with OpenFoam code.

Cryo Slosh I (ESA-GSTP)

Preliminary studies of sloshing behavior in a cylindrical reservoir partially filled with water with the purpose of selecting and developing measurement techniques to characterize cryogenic sloshing.

For more information, contact Prof. Laboureur (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )