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A UGR researcher proposes a formula to measure the seismic resistance of reinforced concrete buildings

Reinforced concrete is one of the most used materials in Spanish constructions. Foreseeing the behaviour of this kind of structures in case of earthquake becomed vital when they are placed in seismic areas such as Granada.

Recently, it has been suggested a new formula, confirmed with numerical simulations, which is going to make the prediction of the seismic resistance of reinforced concrete structures easier, based on its capacity to take up and disperse energy.

The director of this work, which has been recently published in the international journal Engineering Structures, is Professor Amadeo Benavent Climent, of the Department of Continuous Means and Theory of Structures of the University of Granada []. They intend to predict “in case of earthquake, the maximum amount of seismic energy this kind of structures could take up and disperse without risk of collapse”, Benavent Climent explains.

The higher this energy is, the higher the building´s resistance capacity will be. Such energy depends fundamentally on ductility, this is, on the ability of the structure to become twisted without breaking. The new formula allows to assess the seismoresistance of the structures and, comparing it with the seismicity of the area where the construction is located, to draw conclusions about if reconditioning them is necessary or not, whether by means of conventional techniques or by advanced methods like that of energy dispersers. This technique consists of installing special elements in the structure that avoid that pillars and beams suffer important damage in case of earthquake. The next extension of the Architects´ Association of Granada will be the first Spanish building with these special energy dispersers.

One of the present goals for seismic engineering is to control damage (reducing or removing it) in structures subjected to earthquakes. According to current rules of most countries, like Spain, conventional buildings are deigned to, in case of earthquake, experience important plastic deformations but without collapsing, to avoid the loss of human lives. However, allowing such plastic deformations means to admit structurale damages, which can make the demolition of the building after the earthquake advisable.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
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