The principle of base isolation is preferred method around the world for protecting buildings & bridges from earthquakes. Base isolation is a state-of-the-art method in which the structure (superstructure) is separated from the base (foundation or substructure) by introducing a suspension system between the base and the main structure.
Seismic base isolation works by separating strong ground shaking and vibrations at the base (floor or ground level) from any structure (e.g., critical equipment) placed on it. WorkSafe Technologies™ applied this method to the protection of critical business infrastructure, IT equipment, and nonstructural components. They introduced ISO-Base™ and its patented Ball-N-Cone™ rolling isolation technology over twenty years ago.
ISO-Base uses the patented Ball-N-Cone™ rolling isolation system that is far superior to other isolator types when used on non-structural components due to the scalability and overall simplicity of the design. Other types of isolators, like those used on buildings and bridges, are much more complex and makes them less practical and far more expensive for use on infrastructure equipment.
Ball-N-Cone™ isolators utilize two matching conical shaped load plates with a steel ball bearing sandwiched between. They are used in various forms and sizes within our entire isolation product catalog.
The Ball-N-Cone™ load plates feature a gravity restoring design. This allows the ball bearing to travel up the slope of the lower load plate. The upper load plate then travels over the ball. This effectively doubles the displacement capacity of the bearing. The designed slope of the load plate allows the bearing to use gravity as a restoring force, and re-centers itself when the shaking intensity decreases or stops.
This unique re-centering ability of the Ball-N-Cone™ isolator is a critical feature when compared to other sliding type isolators which have no restoring capability. Imagine a critical server rack on an inferior isolator sliding several feet away from its original location, which would mean a loss of power and network connections.
The evolution of Ball-N-Cone™ is impressive. The original isolator performed successfully through thousands of earthquakes worldwide, and still does! However, our new design facilitates projects with both larger displacement capacity and weight load requirements of equipment being protected.
NexGen Ball-N-Cone™ Isolators
After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, WorkSafe Technologies engineers realized the need to increase the displacement capacity of the original Ball-N-Cone™ isolator. Increased displacement is critical in areas of higher seismicity and acceleration. Additionally, new research on rolling isolation systems helped us reshape the load plates to a new design. This new design eliminates most centripetal accelerations. Centripetal accelerations cause vertical vibrations. Our new load plate design offers even better protection for critical and sensitive equipment.
There are two unique and compact sizes of our Ball-N-Cone™ Isolators. The ISO-Base™ system uses our standard 9″ diameter isolator in either uncoated stainless or QuakeCoat™.
The OCTO-Base™ Modular Platform System, our ISO-Dynamic™ raised access flooring, and our AISLE-Base Isolated Containment System, all utilize 14” isolators within a 15” octagonal frame. This provides an increase of 70% in displacement capacity over standard Ball-N-Cone™ isolators. This new design triples the weight load capacity of the original isolator to 2,500lbs per load plate.