Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Comprehensive security of built structures

02.04.2012
How safe are buildings and tunnels in the event of fire, or if there’s an explosion or a plane crash? Are escape routes still accessible? Can people be rescued? Fraunhofer-Researchers and the Schüßler-Plan Group, an engineering consultancy, are together developing new concepts for the design and construction of bridges, tunnels and buildings.

On October 24, 2001 a devastating fire broke out in the St. Gotthard Road Tunnel in Switzerland, costing eleven people their lives. The main traffic route through the Swiss Alps remained closed for more than two months following the disaster whilst extensive renovation works were carried out.


How safe are high-rise buildings in the event of a plane crash? Special methods allow the calculation of exactly what the dynamic and structural loads are on buildings. © Fraunhofer EMI

Tunnels are not the only structures that can be destabilized by major incidents; buildings can be so damaged by explosives or fires that they collapse. How can multi-story buildings, bridges or nuclear power stations be made safe? Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institute, EMI are working alongside colleagues from the Schüßler-Plan Group, an engineering consultancy, to develop concepts for the comprehensive safety of buildings and structures. This means building contractors will in future be able to access the EMI researchers’ expert knowledge at an early stage in the planning process. The guidelines are being realized by engineers from Schüßler-Plan as part of an interactive collaboration.

Risk analysis for building contractors

“Our collaboration supports building contractors from the initial planning stages right through to completion,” says Dr. Alexander Stolz of the EMI in Freiburg. “We provide safety assurances during the planning phase by testing those loads that could potentially affect the structure, and we support contractors by furnishing them with a risk analysis report.” Scientists at the institute benefit from having on-site facilities to investigate the effects an explosion has on built structures, either through trials involving real explosives or using their large shock tube, powerful enough to test storey-high test specimen. „We use the finite element method, which is a numerical technique, to check the validity of the trial, and can predict any event scenario we want.

Schüßler-Plan then converts the results into engineering models. Building contractors can be certain that the dynamic and structural loads on buildings were calculated exactly. On top of this, we use the newest and most innovative protective and high-performance materials – materials that are both developed and qualified by us,“ he explains. The team also deals with retrofitting existing constructions such as airports, subway stations or underground parking lots. The experts do more than just help to make individual buildings safer, they also introduce safety-relevant aspects into urban planning. Simulation tools are used to calculate the incredibly complex way a pressure wave spreads through a built-up area. This enables different designs for urban structures to be judged on aspects concerning their relative safety – and improvements to be made accordingly – all whilst still in the planning stages.

Clear escape routes in the event of a plane crash

The collaboration between Schüßler-Plan und the EMI came about as part of the “Secure high-rise buildings” project. Markus Nöldgen, a former Schüßler-Plan employee and currently a professor at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, was prompted by the airplane attack on the World Trade Center in New York to consider the statics of high-rise buildings. The result was an ingenious framework construction built around an inner core of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC), which ensures escape routes are kept clear and accessible in the event of an aircraft impact.

Dr. Ingo Müllers, head of department at Schüßler-Plan, welcomes the collaboration with colleagues from Fraunhofer. The engineering consultancy has more than 50 years of market experience. “We’re delighted to now be able to offer our clients an additional service,” he says. The purchase of a single contract buys the client the expertise of both scientists and engineers. In fact the cooperation extends so far that even the construction work itself is overseen by both partners. “We are a one-stop shop for customers, who only have to deal with a single contact – which is what the market demands – leaving all the necessary interactions to take place between experienced planners.”

| Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/april/comprehensive-security-of-built-structures.html

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>