British scientists: old tires can mitigate the effects of earthquakesAugust 26, 2018
It seems that useless waste, such as used car tires, can still come in handy! And not only as a cover for children’s playgrounds.
Earthquakes are one of the most destructive and deadly natural disasters. Is there a way to soften them a bit? Juan Bernal-Sanchez from the University of Napier in Edinburgh is looking for an answer to this question for several years already and believes that he found it.
Together with a group of colleagues, he developed a way to support the foundation of buildings located in areas prone to earthquakes. The key component of the reinforcing material, which he developed, is rubber, which is obtained from used car tires.
In addition to rubber, the material includes soil from the area where the building will be located. The bases reinforced with the mixture absorb a significant part of the energy coming from the seismic impacts. Bernal-Sanchez notes that the introduction of rubber particles into the soil increases its ability to dissipate energy. The correct consistency of the mixture provides the rigidity of the sand particles contained in the soil and the friction between them.
Bernal-Sanchez stressed that the key to success is determining the right proportions of rubber and soil. At the moment, the team is testing the new technology using computer modeling. However, in order to understand whether the material corresponds to its purpose, a real earthquake is necessary.