ISMER: A Novel Frequency Attenuated Mechanical Metamaterial for High-Magnitude Earthquake Dampening at a Cost-Effective Approach

24 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2023 Last revised: 21 Nov 2023

See all articles by Suraj Reddy

Suraj Reddy

University of Delaware - College of Engineering; Charter School of Wilmington

Date Written: September 20, 2023


Materials with unique geometrically designed microstructures, metamaterials, have gained
significant attention worldwide due to their unique mechanical properties. The ability to alter the internal geometry of almost any material to increase strength exponentially is enticing due to the feasibility and possibilities of billions of designs that can change the entire scope of how a material behaves. However, mechanical metamaterials have yet to be majorly implemented at a large scale to solve crucial problems. Today's foremost problem is producing robust and efficient construction materials to prevent structural disasters such as earthquake collapses while maintaining scalability and cost-effectiveness for earthquake-prone regions such as Syria, Turkey, and Morocco. This is where ISMER (Internal Structural Modification for Earthquake Resistance), a novel metamaterial design, finds its place in low-cost earthquake resistance. Convergent Finite Element Analysis software was used to design and simulate the behavior of a special class of mechanical metamaterials under randomized seismic loading and 3D printing techniques to test the physical specimens under seismic loading. Afterward, scaled models and nanoscale mechanics were explored with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and ISMER was improved in magnitude resistance by investigating the interface’s failure mechanics. Within the methods
of this study, eight modular varieties, 2 to 16 units, were considered, as the structure transitions from an hourglass to a honeycomb structure as distance increases, with 8 units being perfectly vertical support and the control case that would be commonly seen in unedited microstructures of steel, for example. The most optimal design of ISMER is the 16-unit case of these varieties, so further data was collected with “stacked” lattices of ISMER monomers. These designs and measurements are proportional to the specimen itself, so they can be implemented into any solid that can be viable 3D-printed. The study resulted in a rich understanding of manipulating any material’s strength by manipulating the micro-scale, in which a viable model was postulated (ISMER), and prototype models were fabricated and tested. In all, it was found that the 16-unit case (honeycomb) was the most optimal for a variety of tests such as frequency attenuation and Richter scale simulations and has major potential to be feasibly implemented into the manufacturing of housing materials as it showcased resistance to earthquakes of magnitude 6 at least in its lattice form and up to a magnitude of 7.

Keywords: Computational Material Science, Metamaterials, Prototyping, Plastics, Earthquakes, Resistance, Foundation, Dampening, Simulations, Science, Impact, Humanitarian

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Suraj, ISMER: A Novel Frequency Attenuated Mechanical Metamaterial for High-Magnitude Earthquake Dampening at a Cost-Effective Approach (September 20, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Suraj Reddy (Contact Author)

University of Delaware - College of Engineering ( email )

Newark, DE
United States


Charter School of Wilmington ( email )

100 N Dupont Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19807
United States

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