Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi, led by Dr Arpan Gupta, have developed a ground-breaking solution to protect buildings against earthquakes. In their paper published in Scientific Reports, the team proposed a two-dimensional (2D) metamaterial-based foundation that can effectively reduce ground accelerations caused by earthquake excitations.
According to Dr Gupta, by designing the foundation intelligently, earthquake waves can be diverted or reflected back, significantly reducing damage to buildings. The key to this design is the periodicity of the foundation, which is known as a metamaterial foundation. This type of foundation features periodic variations of material properties that can lead to wave reflection and, consequently, protect the building structure.
To test their concept, the IIT Mandi team used 2D metamaterials, which are created by assembling multiple elements made from composite materials like metals and plastics arranged in repeating patterns smaller than the wavelengths of the phenomena they affect, such as earthquake vibrations or seismic waves.
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