Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 


Engineers Part of Nationwide Effort to Make Buildings Earthquake Safe

Engineering researchers from UC San Diego and the University of Arizona have concluded three months of rigorous earthquake simulation tests on a half-scale three-story structure, and will now begin sifting through their results so they can be used in the future designs of buildings across the nation.

The structure, which resembled a parking garage, went through a series of earthquake jolts as powerful as magnitude 8.0. The one-million pound precast concrete structure had the largest footprint of any structure ever tested on a shake table in the United States.

The earthquake tests were conducted at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering’s Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, which is about eight miles east of the university’s main campus. The goal of the project was to test the seismic response of precast concrete floor systems used in structures such as parking garages, college dormitories, hotels, stadiums, prisons and office buildings.

“One of the purposes of our research is to develop better designs for precast concrete buildings,” said Jose Restrepo, co principal investigator of the project and a structural engineering professor at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “The results of our research have been tremendous.”

Precast concrete, which is built in pieces and then put together to construct buildings, has been a breakthrough in the industry in terms of saving time, money and increasing durability. While precast concrete has proven to be a robust design material for structures, researchers are working to provide the industry with new methods of connecting these pieces more efficiently.

“This is really important to our industry because we’ll be able to develop structures that can resist nature’s most difficult loads, including earthquakes,” said Tom D’Arcy, spokesman for the Precast/Prestressed Institute and chairman of The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc.

The $2.3 million research project is a collaboration among UC San Diego, the University of Arizona and Lehigh University, and is funded by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and its member companies and organizations, the National Science Foundation, the Charles Pankow Foundation and the network for earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).

During the tests, the researchers simulated earthquakes for different regions of the country, including Berkeley, Calif.; Knoxville, Tenn; and Seattle, Wash.

“We conducted tests from lower seismicity all the way to higher seismicity and shook the building stronger and stronger each time with a higher intensity,” Restrepo said.

The results of the research are expected to be implemented into building codes across the United States within the next few years. The researchers and industry leaders hope that this project and others like it will help prevent the future failure of buildings, much like what happened during the 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Northridge, Calif. in 1994, with the collapse of several precast parking structures.

“Since that time, we have been working to come up with designs that will make these structures survive a Northridge earthquake or stronger,” said Robert Fleischman, principal investigator of the project and a civil engineering professor at the University of Arizona.

Seismic Simulation
Before the testing, the researchers performed computer simulations to help design the three-story structure and to determine where sensors should be placed on it.

The data recorded by the sensors were used to take measurements of certain physical phenomena on the structure such as displacements, strains, and accelerations caused by the shaking; and to estimate forces in the structure.

The data collected will also explain behavior of the structure during and after jolts,and will be used to compare directly to the simulations to either validate or adjust the computer models.

The use of these sensors, along with the computer simulation, may help lower costs of future seismic tests.

“We are only able to perform physical experiments on that one structure, but if we can show that our models capture important response properly, we can run hundreds of earthquake simulations a year for the cost of a graduate student, a fast computer and a software license, which, at around $50,000, is substantially less than the costs of these kinds of tests,” Fleischman said, adding that the researchers hope to have their first formal report on the seismic tests completed by early 2009.

The $9 million Englekirk shake table is one of 15 earthquake testing facilities for NEES. The UCSD-NEES shake table, the largest in the United States and the only outdoor shake table in the world, is ideally suited for testing tall, full-scale buildings.

“The Englekirk Center is very important to the research community and to the industry because it has an outdoor environment where we can perform large scale tests that can’t be done anywhere else in the world,” Restrepo said.

The recent seismic tests are an example of how the Jacobs School is on the forefront of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century.

Andrea Siedsma | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Brilliant decorative solid-state thin films for metallic coverings and facades
21.09.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Smarter window materials can control light and energy
23.07.2015 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

Im Focus: Lesen von magnetischen Skyrmionen leichtgemacht

Neuer physikalischer Effekt: Forscher entdecken elektrische Widerstandsänderung durch magnetische Wirbelstrukturen

Derzeit werden kleinste magnetische Wirbel – sogenannte Skyrmionen – als vielversprechende Kandidaten für Bits in zukünftigen robusten und kompakten...

Im Focus: Simple detection of magnetic skyrmions

New physical effect: researchers discover a change of electrical resistance in magnetic whirls

At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...

Im Focus: Auf ultraschneller Wanderschaft im Graphen

Forscher des Labors für Attosekundenphysik des Max-Planck-Instituts für Quantenoptik und der Ludwig-Maximilians Universität haben in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Center for Nano-Optics der Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA) simuliert, was passiert, wenn eine Schicht aus Kohlenstoff-Atomen mit starkem Licht bestrahlt wird.

Trifft Licht auf Elektronen, bewegen diese sich rasend schnell, innerhalb weniger Milliardstel von milliardstel Sekunden (Attosekunden). Was mit Elektronen in...

Im Focus: Das Unsichtbare sichtbar machen: Forscher messen Elektronenorbitale von Molekülen in 3D

Vielen sind sie vielleicht noch aus dem Schulunterricht bekannt: Oftmals als bunte Wolken oder Ballons dargestellt, geben Elektronenorbitale Auskunft über den Aufenthaltsort der Elektronen von Atomen und Molekülen. Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, des Forschungszentrums Jülich und der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt ist es nun gelungen, diese Gebilde in allen drei Dimensionen experimentell zu erfassen. Für ihre Untersuchung nutzten sie die Weiterentwicklung einer Methode, mit der sie die Orbitale vor zwei Jahren bereits zweidimensional sichtbar machen konnten. Ihre Ergebnisse haben sie im Fachmagazin "Nature Communications" veröffentlicht.

In der Physik werden Elektronen nicht nur als Teilchen, sondern auch als Wellen behandelt. Diese Wellennatur lässt sich über die räumliche Wellenfunktion, das...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>



im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics

Nahrungsergänzungsmittel, Detox und Placebos - Freiberufliche Chemiker tagen in Braunschweig

06.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Unternehmenswandel gestalten - Impulse für eine erfolgreiche Strategieentwicklung

05.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Physikerinnen treffen sich in Göttingen

05.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Mikroorganismen schneller diagnostizieren – mit Hochdurchsatz-Sequenzierung

06.10.2015 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Back to the Future: Science-Fiction-Vision wird Wirklichkeit

06.10.2015 | Informationstechnologie

Der Japan-Effekt für die Verdauung

06.10.2015 | Studien Analysen