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Smart Rafters

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I got this idea from a car that monitors which wheel needs the most power and gives it that power it needs and a show i saw that had strength monitoring chips placed in bricks (smart bricks is what they had said)

These are metal restraints with small computers linked to a small network, applied to the rafters and frame of a home that monitor which parts or joints of the house are weak and supplies them with power which would tighten the restraint and prevent cracking or collapsing of homes in very windy storms ( low grade hurricanes ). All of the info that these small computers gather would go to a small panel installed in the homes laundry room and alert the residents as well as emergency officials that their home may collapse soon due to weak rafters. Say that wind was blowing very hard on the north side of the house, the smart rafters would contract to build up more strength on the north side of the home where its needed, thus preventing damage to the home.

i listed this as a product instead of home becuase i suppose it would be a service to have these installed

Slaith, Jan 31 2006


       That's so crazy, it just might work.   

       Although, it sounds a bit too 'Star Trek' for the general public to come to grips with.   

       "Divert auxilliary power to Structural Integrity, Captain!"
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 31 2006

       Why make it weak in the first place?   

       Most "make it stronger" type things are much more complicated & expensive than just thicker wood.   

       I guess I need to see how you're planning to make it stronger on demand.
sophocles, Jan 31 2006

       "why make it weak in the first place?" lol it wouldnt weaken your home lol it would strengthen it. plus, which would you feel safer in? old rickety beach house? or old rickety beach house with power diverting rafters and maybe a sno cone matic machine?   

       Skyscrapers are designed to sway in the air and remain stable right? well if we could apply this to skyscrapers we could reduce swaying and increase stablility. this same idea could be put to use on bridges, submarines, tacos, or even elves
Slaith, Jan 31 2006

       If it doesn't bend, it breaks. The sway is in there by design.   

       What I meant earlier, is, if your system installation required sensors on each rafter, and required mounting a hydraulic or electronic motor assist to "tighten", and provided enough extra material to not break when tightened, then how would that compare to just adding sister-studs (just attaching more wood to all existing rafters)?   

       The real half-baked application here is for parties, to have the house quaking & jumping like a low-rider. Just tie it into the DJ station.
sophocles, Jan 31 2006

       The power will be out during a Hurricane.   

       I think a large worry of the roof system during a Hurricane is that the uplift on the roof surface will separate the roof from the walls of the house. I haven't verified this, but I suspect that if you look at Katrina's damage photos you will find many of the roofs remained intact as a system but were separated due to rafter to wall connections that could not handle the uplift forces.   

       (I don't know if I can explain w/ the best terms, but uplift is a vacuum created on the south slope of the roof or side of the building from a north to south blowing heavy wind)   

       They are now selling a cable tie product that ties the roof into the foundation.   

       Another problem is the roof deck itself pulling up through the nails holding it to the rafters. I've been told that studies have shown that there is a very significant correlation between these instances and the use of a nail gun vs hammer to drive the nails. Apparently the nail gun penetrates the plywood partially so that it has less strength in resisting uplift.
Zimmy, Feb 01 2006

       I think you should use concrete and steel wood.
Ling, Feb 01 2006

       // I think you should use concrete and steel wood//   

       Where are you gonna get steel wood?   

       Steel trees?
andrew1, Feb 22 2007

       Steel wool sounds close enough to it, but I doubt it has anywhere near the structural integrity...
Hunter79764, Feb 24 2007

       Clever but the house walls would snap below the rafters unless the house walls were on an angle to divert the force of the wind to push in at the top more than the sides and allow a little more aerodynamics. Keep thinking these ideas a very good and have some real life potential when fully baked! Good work Slaith :-)
Flying Doom Squid, Aug 29 2007

       People who have failed to learn from the follies of the little pigs and build weak wooden houses in tornado alley deserve to have it destroyed.
marklar, Aug 29 2007

       often times 2-3'' sticks of thin plastic will be added to concrete mixes to reinforce it like rebar. if you had each of those little sticks be a sensor you could monitor every inch of a concrete wall, you could use your rafter network like fly-bye-wire to keep your house in one piece as its lifted out of kansas by a tornado. you could use this system to operate luvers to relieve vacume pockets created by high winds. in an earthquake this could be used to relieve stress on critical trusses. with enough hydraulics you could dump snow off your roof like a front-loader. or que snow smelting wires.
chickenninja, Aug 29 2007


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