University of Brighton research staff win grant from Research Challenges Scheme.
02 Jun 2011
Kate Cheyne and Professor Susannah Hagan in the Office for Spatial Research, School of Architecture and Design, together with Kirsty McDougall and Dr Joan Farrer, also in the School of Architecture and Design, have won a £31,000 grant from the University of Brighton's Research Challenges Scheme with their 'Seismic Shift' proposal.
Led by Dr Farrer, the project will develop and test a second generation smart textile for buildings in earthquake zones. The textile will be either embedded in the structure during construction, or retrofitted, in order to sense movement and warn of potential structural failure. Once in place, it will indicate the exact location and extent of any seismic damage through the monitoring and analysis of electrical impulses generated by conductive nano fibres in the flexible textile membrane. The fibres were developed by Nanoforce, a Queen Mary University spinout company, which will share the IP for the finished product. Data captured by the fibres will be used by externally linked computers to assess the extent and feasibility of structural repair. The system will make a large contribution to the saving of lives, by indicating whether a building is safe to remain occupied, and money, by indicating whether a building can is usable or needs to be demolished.