The House Stands Swaying
An automatic guard has been developed to check that houses or other buildings do not sway, or move away from their true vertical position. If dangerous degrees of tilt are found, the device immediately notifies engineers. This spatial meter, called PIKiN-03, has been designed by Moscow engineers to measure vibrations and tilts in three dimensions.
Such measuring devices designed by engineers of the Conus (Cone) company are capable of around the clock checking that the permissible house, crosstops or bearings tilt should not be exceeded, and whether it is time if not evacuate the lodgers then at least to repair the house immediately.
The ‘heart’ of the new device are micromechanical accelerometers, i.e. acceleration measuring devices. These are diminutive devices that allow to determine and record the slightest deviations of the entire construction from the initial position. The meter constitutes a thin ‘arm’ (as the specialists call it) etched in the silicon crystal (a cube with the side equal to 2 mm), i.e. a bar inside the host crystal.
When the silicon arm’s position in space changes, it bends under the action of gravity. This mechanical stress leads to appearance of electric signal that can be measured, having preliminarily been amplified and digitized. Three such accelerometers located transversely to each other allow to measure deviations of the entire constriction in three dimensions.
Each of these tilt measuring device is small: the volume being 5 cubic centimeters, it weighs only 150 grams. The device can provide the information continuously within the temperature range from minus 40 through plus 50 degrees Celsius. Most importantly, the device can record the 30-degree deviation with surprising precision – up to the tenth part of angular minute.
“Certainly, preventive monitoring systems for construction structures should be equipped with several sensors, says Yuri Titov, head of the subject, chief designer, Research & Production Enterprise Conus (Cone) company. Cables are also needed to communicate the data obtained from the meters to the supervisor’s common control panel, indicator lamps and audio indicators are required to give signals in case the deviation of, for example, a house exceeds the permissible value. Any house is permanently slightly swinging to and fro, we simply do not notice that. However, some deviations are permissible and some are dangerous. Our devices will help to reveal the dangerous ones.”
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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