Sponsored Content: Taylor Devices Can Save Lives and Reduce Costs
Across the globe, current building codes only require that new buildings be designed for collapse prevention. Unfortunately, they do not require easy-to-achieve “performance-based designs” that greatly improve performance during an earthquake.
It’s assumed that a brand-new building meeting all modern building codes will perform well during earthquakes and allow residents to inhabit them immediately following a major seismic event. However, a brand-new building built to code could be seriously damaged, thereby rendering the structure useless.
There exists technology from Taylor Devices that can limit or prevent such damage and make buildings perform to their full potential. This technology takes advantage of the same concept used on every car suspension in operation today to smooth out the bumps and make our rides safe. Now is the time to capitalize on this technology.
Taylor dampers are designed to be maintenance-free and last the life of the building without requiring replacement after an earthquake. They wait in silence, ready to absorb the energy from earthquakes and aftershocks, and have been successfully tested to last millions of cycles. If more structural engineers knew how to model dampers—and were willing to analyze them in new structures—this could lead to saving lives and greatly reducing rebuilding costs after an earthquake.
An exceptional example of Taylor’s seismic dampers within a structural system is the impressive San Francisco high-rise located at 181 Fremont. Billed as one of the “world’s most innovative and durable structures,” Taylor Devices was tasked with working with the structural engineers to solve the challenges posed by the massive, 802-foot-tall building. In total, seismic and wind protection is provided by 32 Taylor Devices dampers, each rated at 225 tons of force.
The dampers themselves are 9 feet long, 15 inches in diameter, and weigh as much as a compact automobile. Occupant comfort requirements determine that the dampers continuously stroke, under even small wind motions, with almost zero seal friction. This required use of the company’s patented metal bellows seals, which were initially developed by Taylor Devices for NASA and used on dampers in outer space. Scaling the small spacecraft parts up to sizes required for 181 Fremont was a challenge, but the results proved excellent. The metal bellows seal design provides a maintenance-free product designed for the life of the building, while continuously stroking under either minor winds or a major earthquake.