Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hospital Room Shook Up In First Seismic Experiment Of Its Kind

Date:
October 22, 2007
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
Seismic test have been designed and run on nonstructural hospital components providing engineers with the first realistic, experimental method of simulating and evaluating how earthquakes damage building equipment, contents and components.

Aftermath of a seismic test: "Ben" was knocked to the floor and was repeatedly pounded in a "maximum considered earthquake" test of the world's first Nonstructural Components Simulator, located at the University at Buffalo.
Credit: Doug Levere/University at Buffalo

In its initial public demonstration, the world's first seismic testing apparatus for nonstructural components performed exactly as designed last Friday at the University at Buffalo and MCEER, providing engineers with the first realistic, experimental method of simulating and evaluating how earthquakes damage building equipment, contents and components.

"These experiments clearly demonstrate new capabilities available at UB to test many types of nonstructural systems, whether they are attached to walls or connected between the top and bottom of a story in a building," Gilberto Mosqueda, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences said. "We look forward to assisting our industry partners in testing and improving the performance of their products during earthquakes."

Mitigation and response to extreme events, whether natural events like earthquakes and hurricanes, or manmade like terrorist attacks, is a research strategic strength identified in the UB 2020 strategic plan.

These recent tests were representative of a "design basis" earthquake, which has a 10 percent probability of occurring within the next 50 years and a "maximum considered earthquake," the largest earthquake shaking that a building could experience in its service life in a high-seismic zone in the U.S.

UB engineers and SEESL technicians constructed and equipped a 10-foot by 12-foot composite hospital room, outfitted with numerous systems typical of a critical-care facility, ranging from mechanical systems, such as sprinklers and medical gas lines, to ceiling-mounted surgical lamps, a suspended ceiling, infusion pumps and wall-mounted computer monitors.

"Ben," a crash dummy provided by Calspan, Inc., of Buffalo, was seated on top of a gurney that had been secured in its stationary position. Nonetheless, the gurney was tossed about like a toy in both tests, while "Ben" -- 180 pounds of dead weight -- hit the floor in the maximum event and was very severely tossed about in the design basis quake.

During the design basis earthquake test, UB engineers were surprised to see wall-mounted EKG monitors fall from their pedestals, since they were mounted according to current California standards. The maximum considered earthquake test caused a few ceiling tiles to fall.

"These failures highlight some potential vulnerabilities that should be further studied," said Andre Filiatrault, Ph.D., professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering at UB and director of SEESL.

The NCS is the only system in the world capable of realistically simulating how the contents and distributed systems (i.e., water, sprinkler, medical gas piping) in important buildings, such as hospitals, react to strong ground shaking and amplified floor motions, said Mosqueda.

While he cautioned that general conclusions cannot be drawn from these tests, which were conducted primarily to demonstrate the capabilities of the NCS, nonetheless, he said that these unexpected failures point to areas where engineers and manufacturers may want to focus their joint efforts in the future.

The National Science Foundation-funded Nonstructural Components Simulator (NCS) realistically simulated a fully equipped, upper-story hospital room experiencing two levels of seismic activity.

The demonstration took place in the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for an audience of more than 100 earthquake engineers and industry representatives from across the U.S. who were attending the UB/MCEER symposium on "Seismic Regulations and Challenges for Protecting Building Equipment, Components and Operations."

Gilberto Mosqueda was lead designer and builder of the facility with Rodrigo Retamales, a doctoral student in the same department.

The NCS is coming online just as a consortium of universities, led by the University of Nevada at Reno, and including UB, has been awarded a five-year, $3.6 million National Science Foundation NEES Grand Challenge grant to investigate the performance of nonstructural systems during earthquakes.

For its portion of the research, UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering will receive approximately $700,000.

In addition to complementary facilities at UNR, UB's Nonstructural Components Simulator and versatile, twin movable shake tables will provide a test bed for these research studies to conduct experiments to better understand and improve the seismic performance of nonstructural systems, particularly ceilings, piping and partition walls.

In addition to Filiatrault, Andre Reinhorn, Ph.D., Clifford C. Furnas Professor of Structural Engineering at UB and former SEESL director, and Andrew Whittaker, Ph.D., professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering will be leading the UB studies.

The testing platforms of the NCS were designed and constructed by UB engineers and SEESL staff; the hydraulic actuators that drive the system were manufactured by MTS Systems Corporation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "Hospital Room Shook Up In First Seismic Experiment Of Its Kind." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019135743.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2007, October 22). Hospital Room Shook Up In First Seismic Experiment Of Its Kind. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019135743.htm
University at Buffalo. "Hospital Room Shook Up In First Seismic Experiment Of Its Kind." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019135743.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins