civil engineering breakthrough 2013

3468 Words Feb 20th, 2014 14 Pages
The Earthquake-Resilient Building
The Brilliant Idea: A replaceable, building-wide system to help hospitals, apartment buildings and office towers survive severe seismic shaking.
By Logan Ward and the Editors of Popular Mechanics
September 30, 2010 6:30 AM

Elastic high-strength steel cables run down the center of the system’s frame. The cables control the rocking of the building and, when the earthquake is over, pull it back into proper alignment.
A steel frame situated around a building’s core or along exterior walls offers structural support. The frame’s columns, however, are free to rock up and down within steel shoes secured at the base. Steel fuses (in blue) at the frame’s center twist and contort to absorb seismic
…show more content…
The boat carried almost 5 miles of pipe in segments of about 10 meters long, which were stacked in vertical racks and clanged like wind chimes when the boat rocked in a storm.

In the bottom of Chikyu is an opening called the Moon Pool, and it was through this opening that engineers, with the help of robots about twice as tall as a human, twisted one piece of pipe into another, lowering the pipe piece by piece down to the ocean floor as the full length of the pipe came together.

They drilled three places overall: one to collect geophysical data, one to bring rock cores up to the surface, and one to install what the scientists call the observatory, essentially a rope with 55 sensors to measure the temperature of the fault zone in relation to the surrounding rock, which would reveal how much friction there had been between the two plates during the quake. Installing the observatory meant not only drilling a hole but then finding it again to insert the temperature sensors—and coming back to the same spot nine months later to pick them up.

"A Wet Spaghetti Noodle"

The first step is to install a 20-inch wellhead, which keeps the hole open to a depth of 30 meters. But once that 's done, the team needs to drag all the piping back up to the surface so it can install a drill bit, about 8 inches around, on the end. Then it lowers the whole assembly back into the water, where the
Open Document