Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists to build 'self-healing' house for earthquake protection

05.04.2007
To build an intelligent high-tech villa that can resist earthquakes by 'self-healing' cracks in its own walls and monitoring vibrations through sensors is the goal of the new EU funded project Intelligent Safe and Secure Buildings (ISSB).

The project will develop special walls with 'self-healing' properties made of nano polymer particles which turn into a liquid when squeezed under pressure. The liquid will then flow into the cracks, and harden to form a solid material.

The NanoManufacturing Institute (NMI), based at Leeds University, UK, is playing a key role in the €14 million project, the aim of which is to construct the intelligent regenerative home on a Greek mountainside by December 2010.

The project's coordinator, Professor Terry Wilkins from the NMI, explained: 'What we're trying to achieve here is very exciting; we're looking to use polymers in much tougher situations than ever before on a larger scale.'

The 'self-healing' polymers will be made thanks to nanotechnology, which involves making things on a tiny scale - less than one-hundred thousandth the width of a human hair.

If the experiment proves successful, more earthquake-resistant homes could be built in danger zones known for their seismic activity across the globe.

The project will first build the walls of the house from novel load-bearing steel frames and high-strength gypsum board. The second novelty will be the insertion of wireless, battery-less sensors and radio frequency identity (RFID) tags into these walls to collect large amounts of data on the stresses and vibrations, temperature, humidity and gas levels affecting the building. If a problem such as an earthquake should occur, the intelligent sensor network will alert residents immediately, giving them time to escape to safety.

Professor Wilkins added: 'If whole groups of houses are so constructed, we could use a larger network of sensors to get even more information. Then if the house falls down, we have got hand-held devices that can be used over the rubble to pick out where the embedded sensors are hidden to get information about how the villa collapsed and about anyone who may be around, so it potentially becomes a tool for rescue.'

Dr Roger Gregory, a partner involved in the potentially life-saving project, said: 'Leeds are world leaders in designing wireless networks for extreme environments and hard-to-access places. Even if the building totally collapsed, the sensors would still let you pinpoint the source of the fault.'

Professor Wilkins concluded: 'Once we have the optimum design, we could quickly start producing thousands of litres of nanoparticle fluid, adding just a tiny percentage to the gypsum mix.'

Virginia Mercouri | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/nmi/
http://cordis.europa.eu/news

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>