Scientists at IIT Roorkee have come up with a new construction technique for earthquake resistant housing using recycled pieces of rubber tyres and the scheme is based on the principle of dissipating energy.
Pankaj Agarwal of the department of earthquake engineering, IIT Roorkee told HT: “This is based on interlocking of pre-cast slotted concrete blocks with the help of energy dissipation links. These links are prepared by recycling pieces of rubber tyres laminated by very thin steel plates. These links not only restrict the movement of each concrete block is in all possible directions but also dissipate the energy through yielding under extreme earthquake loading conditions.”
Describing the methodology Agarwal said: “The load capacity of these links is kept lower than that of the concrete blocks so that under strong earthquake shaking, the energy is dissipated through friction between concrete blocks and the deformation of links without damaging the concrete blocks.”
The seismic performance of this interlocked block masonry system with energy dissipater links has been verified under simulated strong earthquake conditions on the shake table testing facility.
The simulated motion corresponds to the strongest earthquake motion expected in the seismic zone V (the most severe zone) of Indian Seismic Code.
“The tested system withstood this severe shaking without any distress and was found to be in a state fit for immediate occupation even after the test. The design of link system is still under development and other materials are being evaluated for potential application and improving the seismic withstand capacity of the system.”
Agarwal said that the model was for single storey and plans were on for testing a similar model for a double storey. “There would not be any increase in construction cost. The damage due to quake will be minimal,” he said. The residential building system constructed with this technology has higher energy dissipation capacity as compared to conventional masonry buildings.