I used to live in California, I have felt my fair share of earthquakes, a short time after I first arrived in Los Angeles a quake woke me up from a dead sleep at around 7 o’clock in the morning. My chandelier broke, and my balcony actually fell from the apartment. My neighbors were standing in their doorways, afraid the walls would fall in on them and folks were trapped in our buildings elevator. Not one of my best mornings.
Luckily, German researchers have recently developed what they are calling, “seismic” wallpaper. This specially reinforced paper boasts the ability to hold masonry walls together and keep them from breaking, falling or crumbling when subjected to an earthquake. That could certainly make you feel safer, am I right?
Scientists at the Bayer MaterialScience used special stiff, high-strength glass fibers and wove them together to form a strong and flexible wall covering. The material has these fibers running throughout the “fabric” in four different directions, this allows the energy created by an earthquake to distribute evenly and protect against damage.
The wallpaper is simply adhered to walls using a flexible, soft adhesive (called Dispercoll) made from water and a large amount of polyurethane beads. As the water evaporates, the special beads stick the paper to the walls. In essence producing a safety barrier between you, and a crumbling building.
The wallpaper has been tested in a replica house in an earthquake simulator, and because of this “paper” scientists were unable to cause the house to collapse at all. They also used a hydraulic press to crush a treated and untreated wall. The results were remarkable.Well over a billion people currently live in earthquake zones… There are a tremendous number of people that could be made safer, thanks to this new wallpaper.
The paper will be available globally sometime this year, but don’t look for it in your local hardware store, but rather contractor suppliers. No word yet on cost, and I’m thinking, no choice of colors, stripes or flowers either.
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