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Flexible vs Rigid

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Flexible versus rigid

The superiority of flexible fastening over rigid ones

Below is a question that is asked frequently about our SAFE-T-PROOF™ fastening systems. We've known that the points given in the ChatGPT answer below to be accurate, that's why we've continued to develop our flexible fastening systems for over three decades. We were curious what ChatGPT would say about it and we found it concise and covers the important points well.

Question: Is flexible fastening equipment for earthquakes better than rigid fastening?

The flexible fastening of equipment, utilizing seismic restraints with flexible connections, is considered by many experts more effective for earthquake protection than rigid (mechanical) fastening alone. Here's why:

  • Absorbing Vibrations: During an earthquake, the ground shakes, generating powerful vibrations that can damage equipment. Flexible fastening systems, like seismic restraints and isolators, are designed to absorb and dissipate these vibrations, reducing the transmitted forces to the equipment. This helps to minimize the risk of damage.
  • Allowing Movement: Rigidly fastened equipment may experience excessive stress during an earthquake due to its inability to move. This can lead to structural failure or damage. Flexible fastening systems, on the other hand, allow controlled movement and sway of the equipment. They are designed to withstand and accommodate the motion caused by seismic events, protecting the equipment from excessive forces.
  • Mitigating Shear and Impact Forces: Flexible fastening systems can mitigate shear forces and impacts that occur during an earthquake. They are designed to provide a buffer zone that absorbs and dissipates these forces, protecting the equipment from sudden jolts or lateral movements that could cause damage.
  • Accommodating Thermal Expansion: Flexible connections, such as flexible hoses or cables, can also accommodate thermal expansion or contraction of equipment during normal operations. This flexibility prevents stress buildup and potential damage that rigid connections may experience.
  • Compliance with Building Codes: Many building codes and regulations now require the use of flexible fastening systems for equipment in earthquake-prone areas. These codes are based on extensive research and engineering standards that recognize the benefits of flexible fastening methods for seismic protection.

While rigid fastening can still be valuable in certain situations, it is often recommended to combine rigid and flexible fastening techniques for optimal earthquake protection. This approach ensures that equipment is securely anchored while also allowing for controlled movement and vibration absorption during earthquakes.

Ultimately, the choice of fastening method depends on various factors such as the equipment type, weight, location, and local building codes. It is advisable to consult with seismic protection specialists or engineers who can assess your specific needs and recommend the most suitable fastening solutions for your equipment and furniture.

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