Testing a design for safer high-rise buildings



Eliza Haskins photo

24 October 2001 | Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, professor of civil and environmental engineering, conducted a structural test of a new shear wall design for steel high-rise buidings Oct. 18.
The concrete and steel composite shear wall, designed by Astaneh, was tested at Davis Hallís structures laboratory to determine how the design would handle large earthquake motion.
As a hydraulic jack slowly pushed the 20-by-9-foot model back and forth, the concrete cracked and the steel started to buckle.
Preliminary tests show this system works well seismically, and Astaneh believes it also could help protect the lower floors of buildings from truck bomb blasts.
After several weeks inspecting steel from the collapsed World Trade Center, part of an investigation funded by the National Science Foundation, Astaneh says the design also could protect upper floors from airplane collisions.
Astaneh showed the press pieces of concrete, marble and steel from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and a hinge from a Boeing airplane, found at Ground Zero during his research there following the Sept. 11 attacks.


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