5 Ways To Prevent Earthquake Damage Before It's Too Late
While many technologies are ranging from using flexible foundations to damping for dissipating an earthquake, people are still unaware of them.
The Earth's tectonic plates, although in slow motion, are always moving. This movement results in the Earth's crust and mantle shaking vigorously. Sometimes, there are minor earthquakes with minimal damage, but other times, the shocks and its aftermaths are quite severe. In this article, we give you five ways to prevent earthquake damage before it's too late.
One of the most effective ways to make earthquake-proof buildings is to isolate the foundation from the ground. In simpler words, while designing, you should tell the engineers to separate your home's foundation from the Earth's crust. You might be thinking if it's possible or not. Well, it is. This method is Base Isolation, and cautious homeowners often use this while building their homes. In base isolation, engineers will have to construct a building on flexible pads. Steel, rubber, and lead will be the forming elements of these elevating pads.
One can call these pads as isolators. When the earthquake strikes, the isolators might vibrate, because they are still in touch with the ground. However, the building's structure will remain intact. The isolation pads absorb the tremors from the seismic waves and restrict them from traveling through the building itself.
Shock Absorbers - Dampers.
All our vehicles have shock absorbers, but people hardly know that their homes can also have the same. Sound engineers know how to shock-proof your homes with these absorbers. These shock absorbers reduce, if not nullify, the seismic magnitude. Traditionally, shock absorbers are of two types:
These devices are nothing but pistons with silicone oil, with long and robust cables on either side. The builders then firmly attach these devices to every section of a building. These cylindrical pistons are in between the building's beam and column. When the tremors start, the building shakes, and the vibration then goes to these devices. These checking devices then convert the waves into heat energy, ensuring the building's safety.
Another damping technique that works for sky-scraping buildings is placing a big pendulum within the building's walls. Builders place a steel ball with a large circumference at the building's top. Hefty cables then stabilize the big pendulum—this steel ball functions on the hydraulic systems. When the earthquake strikes, the structure moves. But, the pendulum moves in the opposite direction of the building and neutralizes the shock waves.
Use A 'Seismic Invisibility Cloak'
The above two ways work to counteract the earthquake force. On the contrary, this method uses the idea of deflecting the earthquake or seismic waves. This discovery requires the builders to place about a hundred rings within the nearby diameter of the building, three to four feet under the ground. These rings are made up of concrete.
As the seismic waves march towards the building, they are met with the rings, and the tremors dissipate within them. All these rings extensively work not to let the earthquake waves reach the center building.
Fortify The Building
The house needs to distribute the seismic waves traveling through it, to stand against the devastating force of a high magnitude earthquake. To do this, builders often take the help of cross braces, shear walls, diaphragms, and frames that resist movement.
Shear walls work to dissipate the earthquake's movement. Steel and iron panels constitute to make shear walls, that help the building keep its structure rigid during an earthquake. Also, the sheer walls have diagonal steel beams between them. Builders know these diagonal structures as cross braces. Cross braces work to counteract the earthquake forces and send them back to the building's foundation. The cross braces do so with their strength against stress, as well as compression.
Coming to the diaphragms, they are a centerpiece in a building's structure. Building floors, rooftops, and the decks over the roof make up the diaphragm of a building. The diaphragm dissipates the earthquake tremors from the building's base to the building's standing statue.
Frames to resist movement are also an integral part of a shock-proof building. These frames provide extra flexibility to the building. These frames are in between the building joints. A good thing about the moment resisting frames is that they fit into joints and keep them rigid. At the same time, they allow the columns and beams to be flexible to send the tremors of earthquakes to Dampers.
Use Quake-proof Building Materials
Although the above methods are good at counteracting the earthquake, focusing on the building materials is also necessary.
Modern buildings use steel that has excellent ductility to withstand tremendous forces without deforming. This steel within the building bends, but it never breaks. This quality of steel with the tensile strength to counter high magnitude tension is essential to build an earthquake-proof structure. Apart from modern steel, wood is also a highly ductile material that comes from ancient practices.
Apart from the age-old wood and modern steel, engineers are abreast with new technologies like 3-D printing. Builders also use bamboo along with 3-D structures to create interlocking building blocks for a building. Both are lightweight and work well to counteract an earthquake.
The above was our top ways to prevent your building from rattling earthquake damage. Besides the public, our leaders and engineers should know about these methods to improve the withstanding power of any upcoming buildings. These steps will prevent the damage that may happen to the capital as well as people's lives.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Siggers is an Interior Design by profession and Writer by passion. She loves to share her knowledge and experiences through her writing and she wants to spread more awareness amongst people on Natural Hazards and Safety.