Delhi will be better prepared to brave an earthquake the next time it strikes. And this change will soon be attributed to extensive research undertaken by students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
While the technology has been extensively used in Japan, which is more prone to earthquakes, it is gradually making its way in India.
Students at IIT Delhi showcased their technical prowess at an innovation exhibition on Saturday. The centre of attraction is the device that would mitigate the effect of earthquakes.
"We use a method called the base isolation technology, which is also presently being used at Bhuj Hospital in Gujarat. This method requires an isolator to be placed between the building’s base and the earth so that the isolator can absorb the earthquake’s vibrations, thereby reducing damage to the building,” said Pravin Jagtap, a research scholar from the department of civil engineering at IIT-Delhi.
Students have been simulating earthquakes within the laboratories using a ‘shake table’ and, using different time histories, they have also been trying to come up with a base isolator with the maximum absorption capacity.
While the technology has proven effective for medium-rise buildings, research scholars said further extensive research needed to be done for high-rise buildings.
"This technology is being tested by close to 30 research scholars and it has proven effective for three to four storey buildings. We are still testing it in the laboratories to check its viability for some of the city’s buildings. It will be fit to be used in a couple of years, even though it may still not be too effective for high rise buildings,” added Jagtap.
Other innovations on display were sustainable construction and reduction of water consumption and in a completely different sphere — use of nanotechnology through development of environmentally focussed low cost nanostructured devices, among 300 other projects.
"This exhibition is an attempt by the IIT to showcase to the world the kind of projects that we undertake. Till now people have only known of the kind of work we have done, now they will be able to see it themselves,” said RK Shevgaonkar, director IIT (Delhi).