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Detection technique boost for insurers

26 Jan 2018

University of Canterbury engineers might just have a way to address the lack of information about the extent of damage to building materials in the event of an earthquake.

A new technique, based on research by lecturer Dr Guiseppe Loporcaro and professor Milo Kral, assesses earthquake damage to steel in buildings or bridges and is said to allow information to reach insurers more quickly.

The idea is that it enables engineers to test the rebars on site rather than in a lab – a lengthier and more costly process. It also claims to produce more reliable results.

According to Loporcaro, earthquakes are unavoidable natural events but when they occur in urbanised areas they can cause excessive damage. If this damage is not detected immediately, it extends the recovery phase.

“Disruptions cost time and money, as well as impacting the entire community,” Loporcaro said. “The in-situ damage detection method aims to speed the assessment phase, and consequently reduce the impact on the community in terms of disruption, downtime and costs for repair and/or demolition.

“It will also allow information to reach owners and insurance companies more quickly, so issues can be resolved in better time.”

The proposal was awarded $20,000 in UC’s annual Tech Jumpstart competition. The researchers said they will use the award to take their research towards commercial reality.


 - Insurance Business

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