Flexible Building Survives Test Quakes

A replaceable steel fuse used in conjunction with steel tendons has allowed buildings to survive test earthquakes in excess of magnitude 7.


(Schematic diagram of the rocking table: inset - replaceable steel fuse)

In the illustration shown above, white structure simulates the weight of a three-story building. The steel-braced frame is shown in red. The inset details the replaceable steel fuse at the base of the frame.

The entire structure sits on top of a shake table, which simulates powerful earthquakes.

"Most buildings that we design today for large earthquakes are designed such that when there is a large earthquake, the building, in a sense, sacrifices itself to save the occupants," said Greg Deierlein, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University who led the research team.

"What is unique about these frames is that, unlike conventional systems, they actually rock off their foundation under large earthquakes," Deierlein said.

Steel "fuses" that sit at the bottom of the frame also keep the rest of the building from sustaining damage. The fuses are built to flex and dissipate the seismic energy, which confine the damage to certain areas. Like electrical fuses, the steel fuses are easily replaced when they "blow out."

"The idea of this structural system is that we concentrate the damage in replaceable fuses," Deierlein said.

Vernor Vinge gave us a fictional plan view of this kind of architecture in his 2007 novel Rainbows End.

Juan liked to sit by the outer wall, especially when the classroom was on the third floor. You could feel the wall sway gently back and forth as the building kept its balance... house-of-cards construction was cheap - and it could handle a big earthquake almost as easily as it did the morning breeze.
(Read more about Vinge's house-of-cards construction)

From LiveScience.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/19/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...' - Philip Frances Nowlan, 1928.

Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...' - Mark Twain, 1889.

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... ' - Niven and Pournelle, 1981.

Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...'

Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...'

What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...'

BioVYZR Is Ready, Anti-Covid19 PAPR Lovers
'Some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'

Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'

I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '

OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.

Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.