High Strain Rate Lab


The aim of the HSR laboratory is to offer expertise and equipment on the subject of the behaviour of materials and components at high strain rates. In particular, the activities offered by the laboratory focus on the dynamic characterisation of materials and structures of various kinds, for use in civil, mechanical, aeronautical and electronic engineering. These include the possibility of carrying out impact characterisations of polymeric, composite, metallic and cement-based structures, possibly with the presence of sensors. Among the equipment available is the new drop-tower machine, which allows extremely important characterisation tests to be carried out in a controlled environment and with a series of devices to measure relevant physical quantities related to the impact on a wide variety of materials. The system is therefore very well suited for an activity related to the assessment of damage from low-speed impacts, which represent a significant challenge for structures designed with lightweight philosophy.


Bovisa Campus, via Candiani 72, building B6, ground floor room 032. LaST Laboratory - Transport Safety Department of Aerospace Science and Technology Politecnico di Milano


  • Drop tower for floor impact tests designed to deliver energies up to 700 J. The system is capable of acquiring the main physical quantities involved with a sampling frequency of up to 3.5 MHz. It is possible to use impact masses of up to a few tens of kilograms with maximum measurable forces in the order of 90 kN. The instrumentation is equipped with different instrumented impactors and can perform tests according to EN 12390-1/EN 12390-5, ASTM 7136, ASTM 3763, ISO 6603, ISO 8256 standards.
  • Fast traction and reversing machine. The machine, fitted inside an additional drop tower, allows fast pulling tests to be carried out (grasping speed 10 m/s energy >30 KJ).
  • Cannon for impact tests 1. Masses from 20 g to 150 g. Dimensions up to 50 mm in diameter. Speed up to 200 m/s.
  • Cannon for impact tests 2. Masses of up to 2 kg. Dimensions up to 120 mm in diameter. Speed up to 200 m/s.
  • 3 Strainbook acquisition systems. Sampling frequencies 1MHz aggregate. 8 channels each. Signal conditioning for pressure, acceleration and strain transducers.
  • High-speed video camera.

Services provided

  • Tests according to standards EN 12390-1/EN 12390-5, ASTM 7136, ASTM 3763, ISO 6603, ISO 8256
  • High and low speed impact tests on coupons and components

Procedures and costs of using equipment

Costs depend on the test configuration and are to be agreed on a case-by-case basis. A cost of standardised testing can be quantified directly by contacting Engineer Milanese. Any variations from the standards will be quantified on the basis of the different equipment needed and the commitment of staff. 

Management Committee

  • Prof: M. Anghileri (DAER)
  • Prof. M. di Prisco (DICA)
  • Prof. A. Manes (MECC)
  • Prof. R. Ottoboni (DEIB)


name: Andrea Milanese


e-mail: andrea.milanese@polimi.it