Simple Solutions to Complex Problems: The Hurriquake Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

We often write about how the dumb solutions make a lot more sense than the complicated and expensive ones. A great example is the Hurriquake nail, designed by Ed Sutt of Bostitch. For just fifteen bucks over the cost of a house, it makes it twice as resistant to high winds and 50% more resistant to earthquake forces. All through careful design of a nail.

We often use ring nails on flooring or for drywall (they hold better; according to a nail guide, "When pounded into wood, they split the fibers. The fibers then settle into the spaces between the rings for an incredibly strong hold." Spiral nails act much like screws and grab tightly as well.

But a spiral nail doesn't cut away as much metal and has better shear strength, needed for lateral forces like an earthquake, so the Hurriquake nail combines both. Add a big head to withstand pull-through and you have a sophisticated little piece of wire.

In the aftermath of Katrina we have seen monster houses built of concrete on massive stilts to withstand the next hurricane; nice if you can afford it but not a realistic solution. How much better is it to come up with creative tweaks that can make every house stronger and more resistant to the forces of nature. via Worldchanging.
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