Anti-seismic bricks to improve buildings’ response to earthquakes
Sisbrick is a new class of earthquake-resistant building materials that seismically isolates partition walls from the main building structure, significantly reducing the tension between these two elements and, therefore, the damage incurred.
Researchers from the UniversitatPolitècnica de València (Polytechnic University of Valencia, UPV) have designed a new seismic isolator that improves the way buildings respond to earthquakes. The key to the Sisbrick, as the invention is known, lies in the way different materials have been combined to achieve two main effects: it is able to absorb horizontal seismic movements, while also supporting vertical loads (for instance, partition walls) that act on the integrity of the building frame. Designed specifically for use in partition walls, its brick form means it can be readily incorporated into traditional construction techniques, without the need for additional measures or equipment.
Techniques and special bricks to improve the way buildings respond to earthquakes are already available on the market. However, what sets Sisbrick apart is its approach to partition walls. As researcher Luis Pallarés at the UPV’s Concrete Science and Technology Institute (ICITECH) explains, these structures greatly condition a building’s response to a seismic event. Merely making partition walls more resistant does not address the more widespread damage caused by earthquakes. The Sisbrick’s large capacity to absorb the horizontal movements caused by earthquakes seismically isolates the partition walls from the main building frame: “They effectively serve as an insulating barrier, avoiding the transfer of loads from these partition elements to the main structure. By doing so, their impact on overall structural integrity in the face of an earthquake is greatly reduced”.