Tokyo, November 2012 – Earthquakes are among the most severe natural catastrophes. They claim the lives of many people and cause substantial damage the world over, including in Japan. The greatest risk to human life is posed when buildings collapse, burying the occupants under rubble. More than 1.3 billion individuals worldwide live in areas at risk of earthquakes. Seismic protection is therefore particularly important – in new construction as well as in existing buildings.
Bayer MaterialScience and its partners from industry and academia have developed efficient and affordable seismic protection for buildings. It is based on an extremely tear-resistant woven fabric that is applied with a special adhesive directly to the wall like wallpaper, forming a permanent bond. When the ground shakes, large areas of the masonry are held together and should remain stable for some time. The objective is to delay or even prevent the collapse of the walls, giving the occupants time to flee the building.
Dr. Torsten Pohl from Bayer MaterialScience has recently presented this innovative development at the 8th Japanese-German Industry Forum in Tokyo, which was dedicated to new materials from and future markets for the chemical industry. “The project is another example of our engagement in the area of sustainable developments, with which we are striving to combine financial success with environmental protection and the needs of society,” said the head of Application and Technology Development for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America at the company’s Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties Business Unit. “We hope that the system will enable us to protect as many people as possible from the horrific consequences of earthquakes, including in Japan.”
The key component of the system is a special adhesive formulated with Dispercoll® U, a waterborne polyurethane dispersion from Bayer MaterialScience. It adheres extremely well to masonry and the woven fabric, yet is flexible enough for a permanent bond. Partners in the patent-pending development were the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and KAST, the company based on Sonthofen, Germany, that manufactures the glass fiber fabric.
The system is available from professional distributors under the name MapeWrap EQ System and installed by trained personnel. The exclusive global distributor is MAPEI, one of the world’s largest suppliers of building chemistry products with headquarters in Milan.
The system can be applied easily to the walls of new and existing buildings. The adhesive is waterborne, contains no organic solvents and is thus very well suited for interior applications. The occupants can then cover the system as they wish with conventional wallpaper or other coatings.
The Japanese-German Industry Forum is held every year in Tokyo, focusing each year on a different industrial topic. The object of the event is to highlight the diverse and prominent position of German industry in the European market and demonstrate the opportunities available to Japanese companies for doing business in Germany and with the German industry. Another objective is to draw on the more than 150 years of friendship between the two countries in order to intensify the dialogue and collaboration within the industry.
About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2011 sales of EUR 10.8 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2011, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,800 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.
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