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 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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>