A Japanese company by the name of Komatsu Seiren has found a way to use carbon-fiber ropes to provide support for buildings during earthquakes.
This is just a fancy way of saying that they have found that literally tying a building to the ground with huge ropes of carbon fiber, keeps them secure against earthquakes.
While this may sound weird, the science behind it is anything but that. This science takes into account both the abilities of the material used to tie the building, as well as the impact of the earthquake on it.
By carefully placing thousands of these ropes in specifically selected locations around the building, the curtains are able to cancel out the impact out the earthquake, by offering compensatory movement of their own.
In layman’s terms, if the earthquake causes the building to jerk right, the ropes on the left produce a pull in the opposite direction and vice versa.
In this manner, the building remains in place, without suffering any lasting damage. Another benefit being, that since it doesn’t use any special SuperMaterials either, this concept doesn’t cost as much as you would expect.
To demonstrate the efficacy of this system, the company has already tested this technology on a building of theirs in Nomi. As part of the experiment, they placed over 1,031 individual ropes around the building.
In addition, another 2,778 ropes were added inside the building, to reinforce the structure further. Thanks to this elaborate support structure, the building is now for all intents and purposes impervious to most earthquakes.
How it may survive in the long run is something that only time will tell. For now, we are just happy that someone actually came up with a viable solution to this problem.