Thursday, 31 January 2013

Putting A Damper On Taipei 101

When you build a tower 1,600+ feet tall, a little bit of wind goes a long way at the top. Motion sickness can be a real problem if you're working on the 80th floor. Isn't work tough enough to stomach? What to do?

Bring in the damper. Many modern skyscrapers employ a system based on counterweights and movements. The damper hangs inside the top of a skyscraper and pulls when the wind pushes.

For Taipei 101, at a zillion tons and 101 stories, we're talking a huge marble. Usually building dampers are off limits for the public to view. Taipei 101 seized on the marketing potential of the big boy and has it proudly on display.

Behold the giant, 660 ton damper.

That's a big baby, with mascot and stats (reading like a damper-themed centerfold questionnaire) to back it up. Good to know.

The damper actually is an impressive piece of engineering, a huge steel-plated ball hung by cables and steadied by a hydraulic gimbal mechanism.

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