Thursday 10 January 2013

Fibreglass fabric could strengthen walls against effects of earthquakes

Old buildings could be protected from earthquakes using fibreglass fabric developed by researchers in Germany.

Developed by research partners, Moritz Urban and Lothar Stempniewski at the KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), the fabric is intended to perform two levels of protection: preventing cracks from forming; and preventing walls from collapsing if damage should occur.

The fabric is relatively simple in design, and is easy to add to existing structures. The fibres run in four directions, so provide high tensile strength and stiffness. In the event of an earthquake, the fibres would help to hold broken walls together, thus providing inhabitants with valuable extra time to escape.

The fabric has been sold to an Italian building material manufacturer, and the researchers are moving on to develop a similar solution for use on concrete.

Read the full story here.

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