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The Shock, Vibration and Noise Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about shock absorbers, dampers and gas springs; noise control and measurement; vibration/acceleration control systems; and machine mounts and vibration isolators process control tools, specialty chemicals and health and safety. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

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American-Made Seismic Dampers Help Support Japan

Posted March 16, 2011 8:30 AM by Steve Melito

Seismic dampers are like giant shock absorbers for buildings, bridges, towers, elevated roadways, and other fixed or base-isolated structures. By substantially reducing stress and deflection, these fluid-viscous dampers enable structures to remain elastic during seismic events such as the one that rocked Japan. Although last Friday's earthquake is among the worst in recorded history, the seismic dampers made by one American company have enabled 22 buildings and bridges in the Tokyo-Yokohama area to remain standing.

Taylor Devices of North Tonawanda, New York designs and builds seismic dampers using Cold War designs and American labor. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Lumber City company specialized in dampening technologies that were used in nuclear missile silos. After its designs were declassified in 1989, Taylor Devices began attracting commercial business and boosting its local workforce.

The Taylor dampers used in and around Tokyo are just some of the seismic isolation products that the upstate firm has sold around the world. According to company chairman and CEO Douglas Taylor, the seismic dampers used in Japan were designed to withstand a 7.5-magnitude earthquake. That these fluid-viscous dampers were sited some 250 miles away from the epicenter helps to explain how they withstood an 8.9-magnitude quake, however.

Source: Tonawanda News


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