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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 3 Oct 2012
Reducing the impact of Earthquake

April 11, 2012, saw 28 countries of the world, including a few states in India, shaken by tremors. Despite its unpredictability, there needs to be a mechanism in place to prevent a large-scale damage caused by earthquakes. In one such initiative, students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) have developed a technology to prevent damage caused to buildings due to earthquakes. "Earthquake resistant technologies are being developed in a manner such that they can be implemented in the most severe earthquake zones in the country, under any soil condition," says Vasant. A. Matsagar, assistant professor, department of civil engineering, IIT-Delhi. The project focuses on preventing collapse of structures during quakes.

Reducing the impact of earthquake

Base isolation, the technique used for developing the mechanism is suitable to Indian conditions, feasible as well as cost-effective. The project, facilitated by Matsagar with his team of four undergraduate students at the institute, looks at base isolation as an effective way to minimise the impact of earthquakes. "These isolators are proposed and used for the first time in our labs and are not available anywhere else in the country. Although the shocks are absorbed by the isolators, it does not make a structure completely earthquake proof. It however helps to significantly reduce the impact. Instead of using the traditional flexible pads, we have used springs, which can largely dampen the effect of the quakes. This technique is suitable for medium-rise buildings resting on hard soil underneath," explains Matsagar.

The earthquake-resistant building model was on display at the institute as part of ITech, the annual exhibition of research projects at IIT-D. The other research projects (developed at the institute) on display included the world's first hydrogen-powered three wheeler which was launched at the Auto Expo-2012 at Pragati Maidan, recently. M Balakrishnan, deputy director, IIT-D said, "All projects developed at the institute look forward to indigenous applications. The research works on display are oriented towards inventive technology. We need an image make-over from just an academic institute to one providing technological solutions for a modern society."

Courtesy: Times of India

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