Super-strong wallpaper protects brick walls against earthquakes

Structural collapse is the number one hazard during a big earthquake, so scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have developed an enormously strong wallpaper and adhesive that they claim can hold things together through all the shaking.

The 'paper' is actually made from flexible glass fiber, which stretches along with the flexing in the wall. This allows it to remain intact as the wall changes shape, keeping everything together like a giant hair net.

Key to making it all work is a special adhesive developed by Beyer, which bonds intimately with tiny irregularities in the wall, while soaking through and embedding the flexible glass fiber wallpaper.

While the system won't prevent major structural damage that might require the eventual demolition of the building, tests show that it's quite effective at keeping things together so the people inside can escape.

Even though it does cost more than regular everyday wallpaper, the special treatment should be very cost effective for new construction in earthquake prone regions.

The earthquake resistant wallpaper should be commercially available later this year.

Discovery News, via Gizmodo

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