How to design modular support systems for seismic zones

Products, services and software for seismic applications

Hilti seismic bracing solution

We usually only hear about earthquakes when they are really devastating, but in reality they’re happening everyday all over the world.

To prepare for this, the construction industry’s codes (IBC and ASCE 7) now also require non-structural elements and technical installations to be seismic resistant. This includes public buildings such as hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, and schools.

The physics of an earthquake

  • An earthquake generates additional loads on the structure in all directions as well as on piping, ductwork or cable trays.
  • Building codes (such as IBC, ASCE 7, CBC) provide simplified methods to calculate the seismic loads based on an equivalent static analysis.
  • Typical supports are designed for vertical loads but do not take into account horizontal loads.
  • Seismic restraints allow systems to resist horizontal forces caused by earthquakes. Bracing in longitudinal and transversal directions keeps systems in place and secure.

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Hilti earthquake research and testing

Working with the University of California, San Diego

At Hilti we believe strongly in research and development, running our own labs and testing facilities and working with partners all over the world.

For seismic testing we’ve been working with our partners at the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

It’s an exciting project, where we’ve been conducting full-scale performance tests on our products using the largest vibrating table in the world – a specially constructed five-story building subjected to a series of shocks at 1:1 on the Richter scale.

It’s been a great opportunity to research and design our seismic products. This includes all system which reduce installation time and provide quality performance.