An earthquake is one of the most feared phenomena in the world. Companies that deal with studying earthquakes have released statements that they cannot predict when earthquakes would strike. This unpredictability leaves people unprepared at times when the ground starts shaking.
However, some research is being done so that the building protect a building from destruction when earthquakes would start to shake the ground.
In Taipei, Taiwan's National Center for Research on Earthquake in Engineering (NCREE) has successfully developed a new type of reinforced concrete made especially for high-rise buildings. The new type of composite reinforced concrete is said to be 2.4 times stronger than ordinary reinforced concrete. This strength allows for doubling the potential height when designing residential buildings.
The newly formulated reinforced concrete was introduced on Tuesday, April 23 by Lin Ker-Chun, a research fellow at NCREE. After Japan, Taiwan is the second country in the world to develop high-strength reinforced concrete.
Lin explained that a 59-floor apartment building was built in Japan, an earthquake-prone land, using a new type of reinforced concrete. The researcher pointed out that the material is a versatile composite which is commonly used in modern construction because of its qualities that include fire insulation, sound insulation, and its low cost.
In Taiwan, most residential buildings are built with traditional reinforced concrete. Because the material has limited strength and requires larger columns, the said structures are limited to rise up to 27 floors only.
Lin also pointed out that although steel construction is one way to build higher buildings, steel materials have an inadequate soundproofing ability that is needed for residential structures.
When Japan constructed the world's first 59-floor apartment building with their formulation of a high strength reinforced concrete in 2009, the researchers at NCREE in Taiwan began developing their own formulation for reinforced concrete that also has high strength.
A year later the researchers at NRCEE have developed steel reinforcing bars that are 1.6 times stronger than the traditional product. And like the said rebars, quality was also verified for the new concrete formulation they have developed with 2.4 times more strength than the usual concrete material.
According to Lin, the new form of reinforced concrete uses new materials. The new formulation can also be used for the precast method which allows the fabrication of columns at the factory and later shipped out and assembled in the construction site, reducing the time needed for construction.
The researcher also pointed out that the earthquake resistance of the new reinforced concrete is better than that of the traditional product. This comparison was done using pillars of the same size.
Lin also pointed out that the importance of developing a new and stronger formulation of reinforced concrete is to increase the possibility of building higher buildings so that the demand for land would be lowered. This would increase the public space and green spaces that are needed to effectively increase the quality of living in the city.