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Machine Design

Steel frame reins in hurricane destruction

The earthquake that shook Peru last month displaced tens of thousands of people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

Julie Kalista
Online Editor

In the future, findings from a recent earthquake simulation may help limit destruction caused by earthquakes.

Allied Tube & Conduit (ACD), with researchers from the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) recently shook Dynastructure, a pre-engineered, cold-formed steel framing at UCSD's Englekirk Structural Engineering Center. Dynastructure components are cold-formed tubular steel elements and, they are all pre-drilled and welded in tight-tolerance jigs.

The seismic simulation shook a one story building (32 x 20 x 12 ft.) for 30 seconds, simulated a 7.3 magnitude quake. "Not only did the structure remain standing, but it showed no signs of faults, cracks, or connection issues," according to one researcher.

A second test increased the intensity of the shake by a factor of 1.5 to replicate the International Building Code's maximum considered earthquake. This shake was equivalent to a once-in-2,500-year earthquake and yieled the same results: no damages.

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