Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

New method to remain safe during quakes applauded  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 22/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) THE “earthquake” was seconds away. The floodlights were on. The cameras and the sensors were ready


All eyes were on the eight-foot, two-ton section of a Washington National Cathedral pinnacle that stood like a missile in the Columbia University engineering laboratory


It was the biggest object ever tested on the lab’s shake table. (The table can hold three tons, or 6,000 pounds.) The plan was to see whether a steel reinforcing rod screwed through the middle would hold the limestone sections together


Shortly before noon, a warning buzzer sounded. A blue emergency light began flashing, and the crowd of student bystanders put on their hard hats


Lab director Adrian Brugger announced that the quake was about to begin


“And, start,” he said


The metal table on which the pinnacle was bolted began to jerk back and forth, squeaking as it did. There was no rumbling. No falling debris


No one fleeing into the streets


It lasted 30 seconds. Brugger turned from a bank of computer screens and said, “That’s it.” The room was silent. That was it? Yes, he said, that was it. Applause broke out


Last week, an earthquake similar to the 5.8-magnitude quake that struck the Washington area in August 2011 was simulated in New York City. But it was in a laboratory. There were no injuries, and the whole thing was sort of underwhelming


The simulation was a success, though. The steel rod held the pieces of the test pinnacle firmly together. There was nary a crack in the stone or the mortar


“Well, there you have it,” said Joe Alonso, the cathedral’s head stonemason, who had helped put the test together and was watching. “I’m glad what we didn’t see. We saw it on Aug. 23, 2011. That was enough for me.” “It’s not very interesting,” said George Deodatis, chairman of Columbia’s Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. “But this is how the earthquake occurred.&rdquo


He said the engineers thought about adding some low-frequency noise to the test for effect. “But we’re not Hollywood,” he said. “We’re scientists.&rdquo


The real earthquake, on a Tuesday afternoon, rattled the 301-foot-tall Episcopal cathedral in Northwest Washington to the tips of its majestic towers. Gargoyles, crockets and huge stone finials shook loose and came crashing down


The quake knocked off the top of the southwest pinnacle on the cathedral’s central tower. The pinnacle fell on the cathedral roof, and the shaking nearly knocked over the tops of three other pinnacles, which were within seconds of falling


All loose or dislodged stone was subsequently removed from the structure, which suffered millions of dollars in damage. Full repairs are expected to take years


The stones of the old pinnacles had been held together with small bronze dowels, Aloso said. As earthquake repairs proceeded on the English Gothic-style cathedral, experts realized they needed a better system of reinforcement




The steel rod seemed to be the answer


Alonso, who has been immersed in the cathedral’s repairs since the quake, said he thought that it worked


“That rod that’s in there, the way we screwed it down, I would imagine that did what it was supposed to do,” he said. “Without that rod, if that was doweled together with those little bronze dowels . . . there’s no doubt this thing would have come apart just like they did in the quake.&rdquo


As for the simulation, Deodatis said it was difficult to replicate exactly what was experienced at the cathedral, almost 100 miles from the quake’s epicenter near Mineral, Virgini


The Columbia engineers came up with a good estimate and then bumped the intensity up a notch. “It’s very close to what happened that day,” Deodatis said


The test, which cost about 45,000, was about a year in the making, Alonso said


It was largely arranged by longtime cathedral consultant Robert Mark, a professor emeritus of architecture and civil engineering at Princeton University. Mark and Deodatis were colleagues at Princeton


Mark, who was present at the test, said an early plan had been to place a model of the entire cathedral on the shake table. But he realized that a model would not generate the data they wanted


“We decided it’s better to do it at full scale because we wanted to check how the stone and the mortar stood up,” he said


To set up the test, Alonso ordered five pre-cut limestone pieces from the same quarry in Indiana that provided stone for the construction of the cathedral. He and other cathedral stonemasons then assembled the pieces into a rough copy of the pinnacle section that fell


Last month, the disassembled pieces were trucked to Columbia, and this month, Alonso and his men reassembled them in the Columbia laboratory and fastened them together with the rod


“The intent was . . . to simulate as close as possible the finished and fully re-created pinnacle that’s going to go back up on the central tower,” said James W. Shepherd, the cathedral’s director of preservation and facilities


The test piece won’t be used in a new pinnacle, Alonso said, but the stone will be recycled


The test included two other simulated earthquakes, a lesser shake and a more severe shake. The pinnacle structure was sound throughout


After the tests, Alonso and Deodatis used magnifiers to examine the surface of the stone for cracks


“It’s in perfect condition,” Deodatis said at one point. “You’re absolutely safe.&rdquo


He added later: “I would stand next to this during an earthquake.&rdquo


“You can’t get a better guarantee than that,” Mark said.

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 30 2016 - Italy's Eni confirms renewable energy deal with EgyptMENAFN
(MENAFN) Italian oil Eni agreed a common strategy with Egypt to construct renewable energy projects in the country.Moreover, the first project will be a solar plant in Sinai with output of 50 MW, ...

 Sep 30 2016 - Oman's budget deficit reaches USD10.83bn in H1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's budget deficit increased and crossed the RO4bn mark for Jan-July period this year as government revenue continued to hurt by weak oil prices.Meanwhile, the deficit grew by 68 percent ...

 Sep 30 2016 - UAE hotels to cut costs by 20pctMENAFN
(MENAFN) Hotels in the UAE could cut their costs by more than 20 percent by reducing their energy and water consumption.Moreover, hotels with poor environmental policies consume three times more ...

 Sep 29 2016 - Kimberly process chair steps up momentum on Africa initiativeMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Zimbabwe was the next stop on his extensive tour of African States, to give Africa a Voice, for which the Kimberley Process was originally intended. In Harare, the KP Chair met with ...

 Sep 29 2016 - Global Virtual Reality Market 2016 Share, Trend, Segmentation and Forecast To 2020MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Global Virtual Reality Market 2016 Share, Trend, Segmentation and Forecast To 2020 next five years in an average of 106% CAGR; by 2020 over 430 billion products will be sold, and 21 ...

 Sep 29 2016 - NY Gov. Cuomo's Justice Center a Corruption SchemeMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) NY Gov. Cuomo's Justice Center a Corruption Scheme Jonathan Carey "Champion for the Disabled" Born September 12,1993 Killed by caregivers on February 15,2007 The corruption is ...

 Sep 29 2016 - Solving the last jigsaws to minimize risks, optimize costs and accelerate commercialization at Biosimilars North AmericaMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Solving the last jigsaws to minimize risks, optimize costs and accelerate commercialization at Biosimilars North America The 3rd annual Biosimilars North America by popular demand, ...

 Sep 29 2016 - Haptic Interface Market 2016 market Share, Current and Future Players, Analysis and Forecast to 2022.MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Haptic Interface Market 2016 market Share, Current and Future Players, Analysis and Forecast to 2022. Global Haptic Interface Market Information, by Components (Hardware, Software), ...

 Sep 29 2016 - Cold Forging Machine: Consumption, Demand, Sales, Competitor and Forecast 2016 2021MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Cold Forging Machine: Consumption, Demand, Sales, Competitor and Forecast 2016 – 2021 Cold Forging Machine Global Market 2016 Analysis and Forecast to 2021 PUNE, INDIA, September ...

 Sep 29 2016 - Global Wind Power Market Top Manufactures, Market Demands, Trends, Industry Growth Analysis & Forecast 2021MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Global Wind Power Market Top Manufactures, Market Demands, Trends, Industry Growth Analysis & Forecast 2021 Global Wind Power Market Information Report by Application (Residential ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help