Researchers in India have found that adding thermocol or expanded polystyrene to reinforced concrete can help boost the seismic resistance of 4-story buildings. Researchers at IIT-Roorkee tested the material in a full-scale building and performed computer simulations.



New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI) Researchers at IIT-Roorkee have found that thermocol or expanded polystyrene (EPS), if used as a composite material in the core of reinforced concrete sandwich, could resist earthquake forces on buildings up to four storeys high, the Department of Science and Technology said on Monday.
The researchers tested a full-scale building and a number of wall elements constructed with thermocol sandwiched between two layers of concrete at the National Seismic Test Facility (NSTF) of the Department of Earthquake Engineering, IIT Roorkee, developed under the Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST) programme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Adil Ahmad, the research scholar who conducted the tests, evaluated the behaviour of the constructions under lateral forces, as earthquakes cause a force predominantly in lateral direction.The investigation was supplemented with detailed computer simulation of a realistic four-storey building.

Professor Yogendra Singh, supervising the research, informed that the analysis shows that a four-storey building constructed with this technique is capable of resisting earthquake forces, even in the highest seismic zone (Zone 5) of the country, without any additional structural support.