HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Researchers Develop Stronger Material for Earthquake-Resistant Bridges

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Scaling up
naperlou   9/13/2013 9:25:01 AM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, wow!  Talk about scaling up!  From eyeglass frames to bridge supports.  It is incredible that the engineers would have thought to use it.  And, 3% is not bad for a safety critical improvement.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scaling up
TJ McDermott   9/13/2013 11:42:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, I agree with Naperlou.  3% cost increase for materials does not sound like a significant concern.  Projects of bridge and tunnel scale go over budget by vastly more than that every time.

There was no mention of corrosion reisistance.  Is Nickel-Titanium more resistant to corrosion than the steel used in re-bar?

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scaling up
Charles Murray   9/13/2013 6:01:50 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree with naperlou and TJ on all counts. Superelasticity -- which I assume describes the ability to recover (and not deform plastically) from massive stresses -- would be the natural solution. In a sense, I assume this is similar to battery research in that the researchers spend lots of time looking for a chemistry with just the right material properties. To get there for only a 3% bump in cost sounds miraculous. Great story.

vimalkumarp
User Rank
Gold
cost - benefit
vimalkumarp   9/14/2013 12:29:09 PM
NO RATINGS
the high cost could be recuperated in long-term maintenance and other benefits in using the material will justify its usage. alongwith SHM ( Stuctural Health Monitorign) systems this will reduce danages even with a strong earthquake.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Scaling up
NadineJ   9/14/2013 6:36:25 PM
NO RATINGS
It seems like this would be more viable for elevated freeways than for bridges. Images of the freeway collapse in the 1995 Kobe Quake are more haunting than the section (or seam) that detached on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge in 1989. 

A little flexibility in a bridge is good.  Too much is frightening.  The Golden Gate Bridge has a nice sway on a windy day.  How would this material react to high wind?   What additional precautions are needed to prevent corrosion? 

Overall, I agree that a 3% increase is marginal and worth the benefits.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scaling up
Elizabeth M   9/16/2013 4:08:18 AM
NO RATINGS
These are all really good points, Nadine. There could be such a thing as too much flexibility. I don't know how many people would feel comfortable on a bridge that is noticeably swaying (I personally never felt bridges like the Golden Gate sway and I think that's the point--they do, but you can't feel it). But I think with testing and perfecting of the material these issues could be addressed.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scaling up
Elizabeth M   9/16/2013 4:10:37 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Chuck. I do think this is quite a significant breakthrough as well. And having lived in SF and felt several earthquakes there (not Lomo Prieta, though) and also here in Portugal, where I live now (which is also prone to quakes), I think anything that can keep structures safer without being too much of a financial burden is a good thing.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scaling up
Elizabeth M   9/16/2013 4:11:26 AM
NO RATINGS
Good question on the corrosion issue, TJ. I would have to check on that, I don't know off the top of my head.

Critic
User Rank
Platinum
Cost
Critic   9/16/2013 9:32:13 AM
NO RATINGS
3% seems like a low figure.  I am willing to bet that this material is much more expensive than steel.  What is the source of the cost information?

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Believe that & I'll sell you a bridge....
OLD_CURMUDGEON   9/16/2013 9:58:50 AM
NO RATINGS
3%?????  Ask any decent machinist or toolmaker how easy it is to work with nickel and/or titanium, and he'll bend your ear for hours. 

As a layperson in this discussion, but having some awareness of fabricating items from these metals, it is very difficult for me to digest ONLY a 3% increase in cost.

Look at some of the recent major road/tunnel/bridge projects in the U.S., most notably, the "Big Dig" in the Boston area.  The total cost ballooned to about 100 times the original estimate.  Can't believe that the cost of using exotic materials for bridges / structures won't also incur massive cost overruns....

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service