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Pin-Fuse Seismic Systems

Monday 17 Jan 2011

Pin-Fuse Seismic Systems

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Structural devices that allow buildings to respond mechanically, sustaining little or no damage, when subjected to extreme seismic activity. 

The Pin-Fuse Seismic SystemsTM are a series of high-performance seismic structural mechanisms that include the Pin-Fuse Joint® and the Pin-Fuse FrameTM. These mechanisms were developed by SOM and designed to protect buildings in areas of high seismicity. Inspired by naturally occurring joints and structures, The Pin-Fuse Seismic SystemsTM operate by the slipping of a brass shim clamped between steel plates, allowing the building structure to respond flexibly when subjected to extreme ground movement and maintain structural elasticity. During moderate earthquakes they remain fixed, but during a severe earthquake, they slide or rotate to dissipate energy. Following an earthquake, the devices return to their original, fully-fixed positions. These devices may be manufactured and installed in both new and existing occupied structures.

The Pin-Fuse Joint® and The Pin-Fuse FrameTM provides safer and more cost-effective solutions than conventional assemblies as they minimize damage during a seismic event, thereby reducing subsequent repairs to the building structure as well as the associated cost and carbon emissions of repairs. Frames can be recentered by sequentially loosening and re-tightening bolts. These Pin-Fuse Seismic Systems will potentially make conventionally welded frames obsolete in areas of high seismicity since these frames are typically severely damaged in an earthquake.

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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

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