Thomas Catterou’s testimony

Thomas Catterou’s testimony
Portrait of Thomas Catterou, Study and Research Engineer in the FCBA Testing and Simulation team
Thomas Catterou
Design and Research Engineer in the Tests & Simulations team
Thomas Catterou

In the Testing & Simulation laboratory of FCBA Bordeaux, I contribute to research on the vibration aspects of floors or structures related to wind loads, human loads (walking, washing machine) and interactions with the comfort felt by users.

The wooden floor structure is sensitive to vibrations. However, the comfort of people in the face of mechanical vibrations and acoustic radiation is a major factor in defining the quality of a building.

I participate in collaborative projects on the mechanical theme and more specifically on seismic, wind and shock vibration projects.

The FCBA’s mechanical laboratory has a seismic table that enables the evaluation of construction systems or buildings, to understand the phenomena of energy dissipation to make them more resistant to earthquakes. This makes it possible to carry out large-scale tests on test facilities that are necessarily limited in size. This is what we have done with the SimLawTimber project, which aims to define methods for creating small-scale models that are representative of the real structure.

FCBA, in partnership with the University of Grenoble, recently conducted a test campaign on scale models of Nepalese biosourced constructions. The objective of the tests was to demonstrate the promising behaviour of wooden seismic strips. In addition to dissipating energy, this technique has the advantage of stopping the propagation of cracks.

I also develop numerical models before or in parallel with the tests. These models limit the number of tests to be carried out, which reduces the associated costs. By understanding the origin of failures, we can propose improvements in product design.

Some information on ongoing projects

  • The Aquitaine VIBOIS project aims to analyse the vibratory behaviour of floors under different stresses.
  • The GIVILIF project, supported by ADEME and in partnership with CTICM and GRECCAU, aims to evaluate the behaviour of light wood and/or steel floors subjected to various stresses and to assess their comfort.
  • The Dsupsis project aims to assess the earthquake response of mixed structures.
  • The DynaTimberEyes project, funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) and due to start in November 2021, aims to develop a camera-based measurement method for medium and tall wooden buildings.