Earthquakes are some of the most devastating natural events that can happen at a moment’s notice, causing damage to structures everywhere, and harming everyone caught in between. The damage that an earthquake can do is massive, as it can bring down even the strongest and tallest structures in just a few minutes. The damage can be very costly, and take a toll on human life, which is why earthquake-resistant structures have now become more commonplace than ever.
What are the best earthquake-resistant building techniques for steel structures?
The development of earthquake-resistant structures is a process that has taken decades to improve and innovate. This has resulted in some of the most advanced building technologies and techniques, with these structures having the ability to withstand strong tremors to keep it standing. It is crucial that these building techniques are utilized, as there has been an increasing number of earthquakes in various regions across the world. When it comes to the best building techniques that help build earthquake-resistant structures, here are some of the best ones that are utilized by construction companies and development firms.
One of the most widely-used building techniques to help strengthen buildings and steel structures is steel bracing. Earthquakes cause buildings to sway around, causing the foundation to weaken and collapse without the right amount of support. Through the use of steel bracing, steel structures have a set of diagonal sections that help reduce the amount of sway and help cushion the impact to keep the main structure intact. Depending on the size and shape of the building, steel bracing positioning and thickness can vary, as certain structures would need thicker braces to resist strong tremors.
Another building technique that has become very effective in creating earthquake-resistant structures is the establishment of flexible foundations. As stated earlier, earthquakes cause buildings to sway, which is why designing structures that can withstand this impact, along with keeping it steady during the event. This led to the development of flexible foundations, which places the main structure on top of pads and pillars that move during an earthquake. This is very effective in reducing the impact of seismic activity, and minimize the damage that the earthquake can cause.
Minimizing the damage is key to keeping structures standing during and after an earthquake, which is why the use of dissipative steel structures has proven to be effective in preventing extreme forms of breakage from happening. Dissipative steel structures have the ability to get deformed during an earthquake, which helps prevent the supported structure from getting strained or damaged. This helps focus the impact away from the steel foundation, thus ensuring that the building is much safer and remains standing.
Another effective way to reinforce steel structures and buildings from earthquakes is by using resisting frames. This technique is done by adding extra steel sections into different parts of the structure to make it thicker and stronger. This will make sure that the structure and foundation of the building would remain intact, and keep people safe within the premises. This technique is best used alongside other earthquake-resistant procedures to further enhance the strength of the building as a whole.
Along with providing a base that prevents the steel structure from swaying too much during an earthquake, the use of shock absorbers is also another effective method to lessen the impact that the tremors can cause. These devices are pistons that contain silicone-based oil and activate when vibrations begin to reach the building. These absorbers would then activate the pistons on each level of the building, and reduce the amount of vibrations felt. For taller buildings, this has become an essential structural feature, as it helps ensure that buildings would be able to withstand strong earthquakes.
Commonly found in some of the world’s tallest buildings, pendulums are designed to lessen the impact of vibrations caused by tremors by swaying in the opposite direction to lessen the impact and damage it causes. Pendulums are built using a series of steel cables attached to a large steel ball. Along with lessening the impact of earthquake vibrations, pendulums are also used to minimize the sway during strong winds.
Earthquakes are some of the biggest natural threats that can greatly damage a building, which is why it is important to establish a proper structure that keeps it safe and stable. By using these building techniques, you would be able to design an earthquake-resistant structure that keeps everyone safe when the tremors occur.