Polymeric materials have been used daily for a long time in many fields and above all by young people who think they are "natural".
Despite this, people don't know their structure, chemical and physical features, history and industrial process for their production.
This is even more true for plastic polymeric materials. Their relatively recent discovery makes them an interesting object of study.

"Earthquake!" wants to facilitate the approach to the knowledge of these materials, displaying an application which is unusual in everyday life but exciting and of great scientific, technological and practical interest.
Moreover, the exhibit provides stimulating opportunities for going deeper into field of geophysics and the prevention of seismic activity, a kind of problem which is particularly relevant to the geographical area where the exhibit has been produced.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
   Description of the Experiment   

After making sure that the two model buildings are perfectly stable using the tie-rods, the visitor, can make the vibrating table oscillate until the building collapses since it no longer rests on the base made of polymeric material. To do this, the visitor uses the two knobs that control the frequency and amplitude of the vibrations produced by the generator.

The frequency of the vibrations can be visualised on the display.


The whole experiment lasts about two minutes.


Elastic polymers play an important role in the construction of the soil for buildings in areas of the world which are threatened by earthquakes. As a consequence of their special properties these materials change the transmission of the shaking during an earthquake and prevent the buildings from damage.

   Detailed Conclusion   

With the discovery of new materials due to chemistry, nature has lost the monopoly of the "creation" of many kinds of material different from a few main "bricks". These new materials are diffused in all the main fields of our daily life and, in particular, in some sectors (e.g. aeronautical engineering, medicine, etc.) in which their introduction has had a great innovative effect.

At the same time, the example shows one of the possible ways of preventing disaster caused by seismic events.