NOMI, JAPAN — A giant curtain of special cables is the latest earthquake-proofing innovation to come out of Japan, and it combines both functionality and sleek design.
With Japan’s location along the Pacific Ring of Fire making it prone to earthquakes, citizens are continually finding ways to protect the country’s infrastructure.
CNN reports that textile company Komatsu Seiren has created threads made from thermoplastic carbon fiber composite, which are braided to form a strong yet flexible rod that’s as strong as iron, but 90 percent lighter.
The rods have been installed outside the company’s building – draping all around the structure and essentially tethering the roof to the ground. They are also inside the building, and serve to strengthen the interior walls.
When the ground shifts from side to side during an earthquake, the rods stretch and pull the structure back in the opposite direction to prevent shaking.
The project is a collaboration between Komatsu and Tokyo-based architectural design firm Kengo Kuma. It will soon be used to reinforce Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, one of Japan’s oldest temples.
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