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Protecting cultural heritage sites from earthquake damage

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King Crimson
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« on: March 12, 2011, 02:29:25 pm »

Aftermath of 2009 Italian earthquake
Protecting cultural heritage sites from earthquake damage
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Monday, March 7, 2011  |  Featured, News

Earthquakes can cause dramatic and devastating effects to both people and structures, not only in the Southern Hemisphere as the recent Christchurch, New Zealand disaster has proved but also in Europe.  The 2009 earthquake in Abruzzo, Italy is a prime example of how earthquake damage, whether involving casualties or cultural losses, is high in European historic centres.

With a budget of approximately 3.5 million Euros, co-funded with 2.7 million Euros by the European Commission, the NIKER project, which stands for “New Integrated Knowledge-Based Approaches to the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Eathquake-Induced Risk”, proposes to tackle the problem by developing new high-performance elements and by complementing and enhancing traditional materials with industrial processes.

    The aim of the project is to protect the artistic value of cultural heritage sites from earthquake induced damage through the use of ‘stitching’

Cintec International has been appointed as the only British company to actively participate in the three-year collaborative European NIKER research project. The aim of the project is to protect the artistic value of cultural heritage sites from earthquake induced damage through the use of ‘stitching’, the industry’s term for the reinforcement of structures.

With the support of the University of Bath, Cintec’s objective as part of the NIKER project will be to develop a new type of anchor in which a dissipative device and a sensoring system will be imbedded to create new improved systems for connections with early warning techniques that signal an earthquake.  Such anchors will allow a controlled and repairable movement of walls within the structure enabling it to resist seismic forces.

The completion of the project will result in a set of guidelines for end-users, giving instructions on new integrated materials, technologies and tools for systematic improvement of seismic behaviour of cultural heritage assets. Sara Paganoni, a PhD research student in seismic engineering from Bath University, has been assigned to the programme by the NIKER project and works with Cintec in a research capacity helping to develop the new anchoring system.
More information

As a structural engineering company with headquarters in Newport, South Wales, Cintec commercialises patented anchoring and reinforcement systems across the globe. The company has maintained structures including, Windsor Castle, the European Parliament Buildings in Athens, the pyramid of Djoser in Egypt.

More details on the anchoring system:  http://www.cintec.com/cintec/the-system.php

The system works by pre-drilling an oversized hole in the structure and inserting an anchor body surrounded by a fabric sock. A cementitious grout is injected through the middle of the anchor under low pressure. It passes through a series of grout flood holes into the fabric sock, inflating the entire assembly like a balloon. For further information:

NIKER Project- http://www.niker.eu/

http://www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/03/2011/project-aims-to-protect-cultural-heritage-sites-from-earthquake-damage
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