IIT Delhi Researchers Develop Low-Cost Buckling Restrained Braces That Can Improve Earthquake Resistance of Structures

New Delhi: Researchers at IIT Delhi have developed low-cost super-elastic buckling-restrained braces that can give improved protection to constructions from earthquakes. These braces have several advantages, such as all-steel components, onsite fabrication and assembling process, post-earthquake inspection, and easy replacement.

The earthquake resistance of civil structures is often improved by using seismic force-resisting systems or vibration control devices. Buckling-restrained braces are the special structural elements that serve both purposes.

The IIT Delhi researchers have fabricated novel hybrid buckling-restrained braces (HBRBs) having higher strength, excellent ductility, and better energy dissipation potential.

Prof. Dipti Ranjan Sahoo from the IIT Delhi’s Civil Engineering Department and his student Dr. Ahmad Fayeq Ghowsi, who fabricated the braces, studied the seismic performance of more than ten full-scale HBRBs at the full-scale testing facility of the Heavy Structures Laboratory of the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi developed under Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST) programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

Tests are being conducted on specimens with improvements and modifications at the laboratory, and according to Prof. Sahoo, a patent has recently been applied for the proposed bracing system.

These braces can be customized depending on the seismic demand expected on buildings or bridges located in different seismic zones of India.

“The proposed technology is effective in the new constructions and has a great potential for the upgradation and retrofitting of seismically deficient reinforced concrete (RC) and steel framed structures, such as residential/office buildings, hospitals, and school buildings. We have filed a patent for this technology,” said Prof. Dipti Ranjan Sahoo.

These braces can also be conveniently adopted in the steel and concrete bridges to enhance their earthquake resistance. The implementation of this technique in the existing structures reduces overall retrofitting cost and minimizes the intervention and downtime. It is possible to design a structure to achieve the required performance objectives in terms of strength and serviceability utilizing the hybrid buckling-restrained braces.

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