Why is seismic protection important?

The seis­mic pro­tec­tion of struc­tures is one of the main areas of study of struc­tur­al engi­neer­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly in geo­graph­i­cal areas with high seis­mic risk. The goal of seis­mic pro­tec­tion is to min­i­mize build­ings dam­ages and, there­fore, save lives dur­ing earth­quakes; in fact, it is essen­tial to guar­an­tee build­ings safe­ty in high­ly seis­mic coun­tries like Italy, where earth­quakes caused 120,000 vic­tims in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. In the last 25 years about 75 bil­lion euros have been spent for post-earth­quake reconstruction.

For some build­ing types, seis­mic pro­tec­tion is an indis­pens­able require­ment; this applies to:

  • dan­ger­ous com­po­nent and mate­r­i­al warehouses;
  • strate­gic bridges and overpasses;
  • hos­pi­tals;
  • strate­gic State infrastructures.;
  • muse­ums and monuments.

Recent­ly, the tra­di­tion­al approach, based on guar­an­tee­ing struc­tures a high duc­til­i­ty that allows them to be dam­aged in a wide­spread way with­out col­laps­ing, has been joined by inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies such as seis­mic pro­tec­tion active systems.

What are seismic protection active systems?

Seis­mic pro­tec­tion sys­tems for civ­il struc­ture could be active or pas­sive tech­nol­o­gy. Active sys­tems use mech­a­nisms that are acti­vat­ed if they reg­is­ter a seis­mic shock and whose force is mod­u­lat­ed accord­ing to the record­ed accel­er­a­tions. Active pro­tec­tion tech­nolo­gies use devices that we could say “react to earth­quakes”. This is the case of Active Mass Damper: mass­es moved by mechan­i­cal arms whose oscil­la­tions are con­trolled elec­tron­i­cal­ly, and whose fre­quen­cy is estab­lished accord­ing to the forces received, or of hydraulic sys­tems whose mag­ne­to-resis­tive liq­uid changes its vis­cos­i­ty char­ac­ter­is­tics in func­tion of elec­tri­cal stim­uli sent by a cen­tral con­trol system.

 

ISAAC has devel­oped the first smart seis­mic pro­tec­tion active sys­tem design for exist­ing build­ings called I‑Pro 1. After being installed on the roof of the build­ing I‑Pro 1 inde­pen­dent­ly iden­ti­fies the struc­ture, records the move­ments of the build­ing and auto­mous­ly coun­ter­acts earthquake’s forces, avoid­ing dam­age to the struc­ture or col­lapse. ISAAC tech­ni­cians and engi­neers are able to pro­vide assis­tance to design­ers and con­struc­tion com­pa­nies in order to define the cor­rect and effec­tive use of I‑Pro 1 for seis­mic pro­tec­tion of buildings.

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I‑PRO 1

I‑Pro 1 è la tec­nolo­gia atti­va intel­li­gente per la pro­tezione sis­mi­ca di edi­fi­ci esistenti.

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