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Architectural Engineer

Can an Architectural Engineer Use Grooved Structures to Minimize Earthquake Shockwaves?

Could grooves be the future of safety? Engineers at UC San Diego discovered that reflected shock waves are diminished when they bounce off a grooved object. Might this be a breakthrough an architectural engineer can apply to build structures that withstand earthquakes? 

Science Daily summarized the team’s research. It shows “obstacles laid out in a logarithmic spiral…were better able to diminish the energy of a shock wave and reduce overall damage than were arranged in other patterns.” Placing grooves in these obstacles then increased their effectiveness. 

Shock Wave Energy

The energy of a shock wave from a blast or natural force dissipates over space. The challenge is when these same forces are applied in a confined space like a tunnel or building. When space is restricted, the wave will keep going at the same intensity. This results in massive amounts of damage. 

By conducting research focused on different ways to absorb or redirect energy the force of a shock wave can be reduced. This reduction in force protects a structure by reducing the amount of exposure to stress points or creating a situation where the force is completely dissipated causing minimal if any stress to the structure. 

Applying Research

The importance of this research is the ability to translate the results into real life applications. There are several potential applications in both the military and civilian sectors. In terms of architectural engineering, OEI is interested in how this concept will be applied in building design to reduce the risk of damage caused by earthquakes. 

OEI is dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation. Each architectural engineer on our team approaches every challenge by being mindful of current trends and new technologies combined with the knowledge of experience to create an economic and sustainable design and finished structure.

Our record of successfully completed projects demonstrates our determination to provide high quality service and products to every client. Contact us today to learn more about what new technologies including materials and systems can be applied to a new build or rehabilitation project.