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Waste tyres can minimise quake impact on buildings

A professor at a Japanese university, hailing from Assam, has developed earthquake resistant techniques using waste tyres. Though the waste tyres can be a great environmental concern, according to Hemanta Hazarika, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, these can be an effective and affordable means to minimise impact on buildings. Hazarika an alumnus of IIT-Madras said these techniques can be implemented all over the world, especially in Asia.

Hazarika, who is the secretary of a technical committee of International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) related to Geotechnical Natural Hazards in Asian region, is currently in Nepal as part of a Japanese expert team dispatched to the quake-ravaged country.

He has patented one of the techniques and a prototype construction of tyre-retaining wall is planned in Japan within the next few months to replace a conventional retaining wall, which was completely damaged by last year's earthquake in Nagano.

According to Hazarika these techniques can preserve the environment, mitigate disaster and reduce cost. Judicious combination of these three factors is very important for innovative construction techniques. He further mentioned that as dumped tyres will be used in the construction, these techniques are very affordable in developing countries as they are cost effective as compared to other existing techniques which can only be afforded by rich nations.

Elaborating on the techniques, Hazarika further said that the first one is related to retaining wall protection from earthquake. Tyre chips are used as cushion to prevent damage of waterfront structure during earthquake. The second technique is related to protection of private houses against earthquake shaking and related phenomenon such as liquefaction. Here also tyre chips or tyre chips mixed with sand or gravel are used. The third technique is about protection of sea wall and river embankment from scouring and erosion due to tsunami and wave effect. In this technique, whole tyres are used. Since tyres do not look good, planting of trees and shrubs are suggested.

 
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