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 ")

Prufrock The Newest Boring Machine
'It sounds to me as though you had invented a kind of metal earthworm...'

Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.' - Michael Crichton, 1985.

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

 

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

A Passing Drone Has Covid-19 Advice
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up.'

Prototype Robotic Masseur Has The Touch
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently...'

Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.

Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'

reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'

Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.

NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'

Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'

No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'

Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'

Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'

Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'

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.