UofT 'Scorpion' Seismic Brace

Nancy Anderson
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Engineering researchers at the University of Toronto have completed full-scale destructive testing of their Yielding Seismic Brace (YSB), and have announced that the product is ready to move into production. The cast steel brace, which looks like an over-large wrench when installed in steel framing, is designed to bear the brunt of earthquake and blast loading, protecting the host structure from damage due to the forces involved.

The full scale test was the third in a series of simulations, with a fourth to follow on a second casting. As mentioned in our previous article, most structures are designed to withstand major seismic events, but only to the extent that they prevent collapse. Multiple, smaller events can significantly damage the structure to the point that it’s no longer useful. The Scorpion brace, as it’s to be known, has already undergone simulation of three major earthquakes, and it has performed admirably, protecting the frame in which it was installed, and suffering no critical damage to itself.

The Scorpion brace is being commercialized by a hi-tech startup that spun out of the University of Toronto’s previous research, Cast ConneX. Watch the embedded video below to see the full-scale dynamic test.

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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.


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