April 19, 2024

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Taiwan earthquake: 660-ton Italian bullet saved Taipei 101 skyscraper

Taiwan earthquake: 660-ton Italian bullet saved Taipei 101 skyscraper

Reply from Italy to ERT: Christian Mavris

Taipei 101 is a 508-metre-tall, cane-shaped bamboo and glass skyscraper that was seen swaying dangerously during the deadly earthquake that struck Taiwan on 3/4. But in the end, the building survived, thanks also to an Italian innovation: a huge steel sphere located between the 87th and 92nd floors.

The system, called TMD (short for Tuned Mass Damper) is “the world's largest tuned mass damper” which “stabilizes the structure in which it is installed in the event of violent movements caused by harmonic vibrations” such as earthquakes and wind gusts. This is what he stated Corriere della Sera Renato Vitaliani, a civil engineer and retired professor of building technology at the University of Padua in Italy, is where FIP turned the project into reality.

In fact, the newspaper points out that this is the same company that built the world's largest viscous energy absorbers, on the Rio Antirio Bridge, in Greece.

Taiwan earthquake: 660-ton Italian bullet saved Taipei 101 skyscraper

As the Italian professor in the newspaper, who is also a lead laboratory, points out,
The missile defense system is a “huge steel ball with a diameter of 5.5 meters, consisting of 41 interlocking discs of different diameters and weighing 660 tons.”

The ball is suspended by steel cables attached to the structure, and begins to swing in the opposite direction of the structure, effectively reducing the impact of the earthquake. According to the professor, the ball “can oscillate with an amplitude ranging from a minimum of 1 cm to a maximum of 1.5 metres.”

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The ball actually worked successfully during the 6.8 magnitude earthquake on September 18, 2022.

Taiwan earthquake: 660-ton Italian bullet saved Taipei 101 skyscraper