Emtech Alumni Sulaiman and Chai have published and presented their Research paper in Proceedings of the IASS Symposium 2018
Creativity in Structural Design July 16-20, 2018, MIT, Boston, USA

Topological interlocking systems for the construction of seismic- proof shell structures
Sulaiman ALOTHMAN, Chaitanya CHAVAN

Conventional interlocking structures rely on keys or connectors at the periphery of their elements in order to keep them together. This system inevitably exhibits a large stress concentration around the connectors when subjected to a lateral or dynamic loads scenario. However, substituting the keys or connectors with non-planar surfaces on all sides reduces the stress levels at the contact locations and enables a low degree of freedom, as well as other functionalities. This paper proposes a material system of topologically interlocking, mortarless bricks—taking cue from the “osteomorphic” brick—for the construction of seismic-resistant shell structures in Istanbul, a city expecting a devastating earthquake, where its unpreparedness in a high dense urban fabric occupied with structurally unstable buildings constitutes a great danger to people’s lives. The system incorporates non-planar surfaces with a sinusoidal feature and a controlled degree of curvature to complement the brick, which facilitates the dissipation of energy through surface friction when subjected to different loading conditions. This is coupled with a post-tensioning system that is located to optimize the handling of induced stresses of applied lateral and dynamic forces on a shell morphology.
Keywords: earthquake, topological interlocking, mortarless interlocking, shell structures (June 2018)