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April 24, 2019

Earthquake-ready: Steel Structures against Seismic Movements

It was just this week when a series of powerful earthquakes struck our country that registered 4.7 to 6.5 magnitude tremors — incidents that the Philippines must endure since it is an active part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone where major seismic activities are expected because of active fault lines surrounding this area.

With a myriad of aftershocks, these quakes ensued damages to parts of different facilities and roads and also recorded a number of casualties on affected areas particularly in Luzon and Visayas. And for the record, it is observable that structural damages are the focal source of injuries and deaths during these calamities — compromising the structural integrity of buildings and structures.

So now, the question lies … “What makes a structure earthquake-resistant?”

Truth be told, designing and building a structure that is earthquake proof is beyond the bounds of possibility. However, people nowadays can maximize the usage of innumerable engineering techniques to augment unyielding and resistant features in buildings that will enormously help an infrastructure and also its occupants to survive such violent shaking of the ground.

As far as functionality is concerned, steel is the best material to fit such requirements. It is by far the most widely used material for structuring earthquake-resistant buildings.

Steel is strong and durable as it also offers the highest possible ductility that will allow a particular building or structure to bend and undergo significant deformation before rupturing or breaking . It highlights the metal’s ability to withstand tensile stress like earthquakes and aftershocks.

Steel, being a very versatile material for a variety of structural applications, has the ability to dissipate significant force being produced by an earthquake thus allowing a seismically-engineered building to withstand severe damages and possible downfall.

Due to the fact that all buildings carry their own weight, it is very substantial for skyscrapers to be composed mainly of lightweight and flexible materials in order to absorb less seismic shocks during these incidences and since steel is extremely lightweight in comparison to concrete, it will be the perfect material. Also, its flexibility allows a structure to endure moderate to major seismic events and sustains the building’s tenacity to further prevent structural damages.

With those being said, it is also highly critical to deeply consider having the right steel that has the right properties. Through unwavering innovation and product upgrade, the kind of steel that one will use should prove to perform exceptionally in industrial setting and construction industry with its consistency in product tensile strength and hardness accredited by multiple and reliable testing centers.

To add, one’s producers of steel should have the ability to meet customer demands and further boost clients’ satisfaction with regards to regulatory requirements, rules, and guidelines to ensure cost-effectiveness and quality.

These incidents can be considered as a call of duty for project heads and also for common people to find the right partner that can be trusted to incorporate extensive knowledge in this industry. At the same time, it is the job of the provider to ensure each responsibility is met to assure that the structures can be in pristine condition for quite a long time — withstanding innumerable factors that might result to crippling damages.

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