High-tech wallpaper resists earthquakes

April 4, 2012 at 9:36 PM
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KARLSRUHE, Germany, April 4 (UPI) -- German researchers say they've developed "seismic" wallpaper that can hold a masonry wall together to keep it from crumbling or falling in an earthquake.

Scientists at the Institute of Solid Construction and Construction Material Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology used stiff, high-strength glass fibers woven together to form a strong elastic covering, with the fibers running in four directions to distribute energy evenly when the walls are shaking, Deutsche Welle reported.

The special wallpaper is adhered to walls with a flexible, soft adhesive made from water and a large amount of polyurethane beads.

After the adhesive penetrates the masonry the water evaporates and the beads strongly anchor the material to the wall, the researchers said.

The seismic material was tested on a replica house in an earthquake simulator.

"Because of the earthquake wallpaper, we were unable to make the building collapse," researcher Mortiz Urban said.

The wallpaper will start going into commercial production this year, researchers said.

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