Seismic Retrofit

As evident by our name, QuakeWrap was founded to address the seismic upgrade needs of buildings and bridges. Until the mid-1970s, the engineering community knew little about how to design structures to resist earthquake loads safely. As a result, the entire global inventory of buildings and bridges that were constructed prior to those dates are unsafe for resisting earthquake loads. This is evident by the large number of older buildings that have collapsed or were severely damaged in recent earthquakes. There is a worldwide interest in making these structures more resilient and quantify the performance of these structures so the owners can anticipate the potential loss following an earthquake.

Seismic upgrade or retrofit of structures with FRP products is a field that was pioneered by Prof. Ehsani in the early 1990s. These studies were the first such projects funded by the US National Science Foundation to examine the performance of bridge piers and Unreinforced Masonry (URM) walls retrofitted with FRP. Columns, for example, can be wrapped in FRP fabric or our patented PileMedic® jackets. This will provide confinement, increase axial, flexural and shear capacity and enhance the ductility of the column. URM walls can be upgraded to resist significant flexure and shear loading. The FRP can also confine the brick or masonry elements, keeping them from dismantling in an earthquake.

QuakeWrap engineers can provide seismic design alternatives using FRP products. The number of layers, orientation of fibers, anchorage, etc. for all structural elements such as walls, columns, beams, floors, etc. will be calculated and presented to the owners as sealed drawings.

Features & Benefits

Advantages of seismic retrofit or upgrade with FRP include:

  • Walls, floors, beams and columns can be retrofitted with FRP
  • Minimal increase in member size (typically ½ inch (13 mm))
  • Repairs are fast and economical
  • Finished installation can be coated, making it hardly visible
  • Our proprietary PileMedic® may offer additional time and cost savings