Visit to Kajima Technical Research Institute

Atsumi International Foundation (AISF) officers and staff, together with AISF 2013 scholarship recipients visited the Kajima Technical Research Institute (KaTRI) in Tobitakyu (Tokyo) on November 27, 2013. The AISF group was composed of Mrs. Itsuko Atsumi, Executive Director, Mrs. Junko Imanishi, Managing Director, Mr. Tadahiro Shimazu, Secretary-General, Ms. Keiko Ishii, Ms. Miyuki Ohta and seven scholarship recipients. The visit was a study-tour especially for the AISF scholarship recipients.

KaTRI is a cutting-edge research institute specializing in construction and related technologies. Established in 1949, it is the research arm of Kajima Corporation which is the main benefactor of the AISF. It has adopted the motto: "Construct the Present and Build the Future".

Executive Managing Director Satoshi Togari, who holds office at KaTRI's Research Tower Headquarters in Tobitakyu, described in a video presentation the Institute's laboratories and facilities and its state-of-the-art research activities.

In addition to the Research Tower Headquarters, KaTRI maintains and operates satellite laboratories and facilities in three other principal locations in the Nishi-Chofu Experimental Building and the Hayama Marine & Science Laboratories. Interestingly, Mr. Jeon Jin-Hwan, who is an Atsumi scholarship recipient of 2001, is working in one of KaTRI's laboratories. It is also noteworthy that the Research Tower has green roofing and various energy saving technologies.

At the Nishi-Chofu Experimental Building, we visited the experimental facilities for three-dimensional high-performance earthquake vibration base and structures. We saw the reproduction of the data of the X axis (north-south), the Y axis (east-west) and the Z axis (vertical) which were observed at Sendai on March 11, 2011 (the Great East Japan Big Earthquake). We also saw the application of this base material technology in the stock of gravestones which were ordered by customers for testing.

KaTRI's technology can also measure earthquake resistance of building materials and structures. We also learned that research is continuing on technologies on ground environment, earthquake resistance, fire resistance and concrete materials using such cutting-edge technologies as Large-Size Structural Laboratory, High-Performance 3-Dimensional Shaking Table System, Wind Tunnels, Fire Testing Room, Geotechnical Centrifuge and Air Chamber Laboratory.

We then visited the Large-Size Structural Experimental Laboratory where tests are conducted on the strength and safety of large sized structures or important structures against earthquake using big actuator and automatically controlled hydraulic pumps.

Our next visit was to the Lead Rubber Bearing (LRB) seismic isolator which can support big buildings by 30 bearings in in a Large-Size Structural Experimental Laboratory.

Lastly, we visited laboratory for concrete materials to produce ultra high strength fiber reinforced concrete, high-durability concrete with special admixture, carbonation curing, high-performance water repellent agent of concrete, and high-strength and self-compacting concretes for diaphragm walls, among others. This is where Mr. Jeon is working in a more than a hundred million yen worth of facilities.

I like to express my gratitude to Atsumi International Foundation and Kajima Corporation for having been able to visit KaTRI which is developing top-level construction technologies in the world. I thank you who are researching on cutting-edge technologies which will make our life safer and more secure if such technologies can keep developing.

When we hear the word "laboratory", we think it refers to a governmental organization. This is the first time for me to see such a big-sized laboratory as KaTRI owned by a private firm.

Our visit was a valuable experience to all the AISF scholarship recipients regardless of our special field of studies.

Photos of the day by Jeon

(by Hsu Han-Hsiu, trans. by K. Kawamura)