Hal Amick will speak on October 28, 2014 at a session on vibration-sensitive structures at the Fall Conference of the American Concrete Institute in Washington, DC. The rather lighthearted title, “Silk Purses out of Sows’ Ears: Concrete Structures for High Technology Research and Manufacturing,” refers to the role concrete is often expected to play when locating high-performance buildings in challenging vibration environments. Other speakers in the session will include Eric Ungar and Thomas Murray, two of the authors of AISC Design Guide 11, and Michael Wolford of Arup. All are recognized experts on floor vibrations in a variety of settings. This gathering of this group is a first.
Concrete is the “go-to” structural material for a wide variety of applications in the world of facilities for advanced technology—for both “extreme” and “routine” situations. The presentation reviews a number of concrete applications, ranging from routine to extreme.
Most high-performance concrete floors are found in the semiconductor industry and facilities for nanoscale research and manufacture. Within the semiconductor world, the focus on the semiconductor facilities is to make the facilities bigger and more versatile (and with gradually increasing column spacing). The industry tends to search out “quiet” sites, so the challenge is usually dealing with vibration from inside the facility. On the other hand, the focus with nanoscale research facilities has been to make progressively better facilities on progressively worse sites. We can think of this as making “increasingly better silk purses out of progressively worse sow’s ears.” Concrete has been part of the solution for both semiconductor and nano worlds, but in different ways.