Quake proofing skyscrapers

Stopping skyscraper shaking during earthquakes

730 ton "mass damper": This 730 ton mass damper helps stabilize the building against swaying.Courtesy jaaronOne of the world's tallest buildings is only 600 ft. from a fault line. The recent Sichuan Earthquake in China shook the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan—a whole eight minutes after the quake originated.
One way to stabilize these tall builds from swaying too much during earthquakes or from high winds is to install enormous pendulum weights. When the building sways sideways the pendulum doesn't want to move (inertia) and exerts a pull in the opposite direction.
These gigantic suspended weights are called tuned mass dampers. The world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai, has nine mass dampers. The mass damper in the Taipei 101 building has a mass of 730 tons.

Watch the 730 ton mass damper in action

Sources: Popular Mechanics and Gizmodo.


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mickela's picture
mickela says:

I learned so much from this.

posted on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 12:08pm

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