Temblor Demonstration to Help Improve Buildings' Structural Integrity

In order to better protect critical buildings and their occupants during a temblor, engineers at the University at Buffalo will subject a life-sized, two-story replica of a fully equipped hospital room to full-scale earthquake vibrations during a demonstration today at 3 p.m. EST, in its Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory, located in Ketter Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The demonstration will be the first to be held in UB's Nonstructural Components Simulator (CNS), a new testing facility funded by the National Science Foundation and designed specifically to subject costly architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in hospitals and other important structures to the precise floor vibrations that they experience during the strongest earthquakes.

CNS features a two-story, four-column swivel test frame supporting two steel grid platforms. Its high-performance hydraulic actuators can push and pull platforms up to 40 inches in each direction at velocities of 100 inches per second, simulating in real-time how upper floors move during earthquakes.

The shake test will be webcast live at http://seesl.buffalo.edu/projects/ncs/webcast/.

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