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Japan: Quake-resistant glass developed

Obayashi Corp., together with Asahi Glass Co., Sumitomo 3M Ltd. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has devised a construction method that makes glass buildings resistant to earthquakes. Since the …

Obayashi Corp., together with Asahi Glass Co., Sumitomo 3M Ltd. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has devised a construction method that makes glass buildings resistant to earthquakes. Since the buildings can be made without concrete, there is room for more creativity in architectural design. The structures can also be applied to protect temples and other cultural treasures without marring the scenery. The technique uses an adhesive and elastic polymer material on the four corners of a regular sheet of glass, enabling the pane to be affixed securely to the floor and ceiling when a quake hits. Through testing, Obayashi discovered that a 1.2 cm glass wall using the new method of construction is as resistant to earthquakes as a concrete wall of the same thickness. The general contractor claims that even if all the concrete walls of a 2×4 house are replaced with glass walls, the structure will be resistant to an earthquake with an intensity of 7 on the seven-stage Japanese seismic scale. The company will soon start taking orders for glass buildings using the technique.

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