At the epicentre of earthquake simulation: linear guides from THK

The initial situation

To simulate geotechnical structures and the effects of natural hazards, the institute has built Europe’s largest research centrifuge at the Hönggerberg campus in Zurich. It is capable of accelerating up to two tonnes of payload to 100 g (1 g is the gravity at the earth’s surface). This extreme performance places great demands on the linear guides installed in the robotic operating equipment.

Institut für Geotechnik ETH Zürich
Institut für Geotechnik ETH Zürich

Project requirements

Bachofen’s solution

The researchers at the ETH Institute of Geotechnical Engineering were familiar with the linear guides from THK used in previous projects. They had very good experience with these precision components and Bachofen’s advice. Therefore, it was clear that they would turn to Bachofen for this demanding project. This time, the extremely demanding environment of the application made the evaluation very challenging. The guides had to ensure that the robot stopped exactly at the specified positions and remained absolutely stationary despite the centrifugal forces. The linear guides with roller or ball chains from THK meet these conditions and reliably defy the simulated forces of nature.