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 Construction Impact Guide
18.05.2018 | Hochschule RheinMain

nachricht New, forward-looking report outlines research path to sustainable cities
24.01.2018 | National Science Foundation

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>