Seismic protection of artefacts with adhesives and base-isolation


  • Claire Dong University of Canterbury
  • Giovanni De Francesco University of Canterbury
  • Timothy Sullivan University of Canterbury
  • Rajesh Dhakal University of Canterbury
  • Terri Elder University of Canterbury
  • Emily Fryer Canterbury Museum
  • Neeha Velagapudi Canterbury Museum



Artefacts in museums, galleries, and private collections have great cultural value. In regions with high seismicity, earthquake shaking can pose significant risk of irreversible damage to such pieces. Various seismic protection methods have been proposed in the past for different types of artefacts. This study investigates one of the commonly used methods in New Zealand which consists in applying adhesives to anchor relatively small artefacts. Guidance is provided to determine the size and number of adhesives required for an artefact to survive design-level earthquake shaking. In addition, for large objects where adhesives alone are insufficient, a simple cost-effective base-isolation platform is proposed to reduce the seismic vulnerability of the artefacts. This platform is designed such that it can be assembled and positioned by museum conservators or private collectors. The adhesive material properties are determined through direct tension and shear experimental tests. The friction properties of the base-isolated substrate are determined through unidirectional quasi-static and cyclic load tests. Performance of the proposed methodology is gauged by subjecting the artefacts to shake table testing using a recorded earthquake motion. Results suggest that the recommended seismic protection solution performs as expected.


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How to Cite

Dong, C., De Francesco, G., Sullivan, T., Dhakal, R., Elder, T., Fryer, E., & Velagapudi, N. (2023). Seismic protection of artefacts with adhesives and base-isolation. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 56(3), 186–200.