Rubber bearings are made from layers of rubber
with thin steel plates between them, and a thick steel plate
on the top and bottom.
The bearings are placed between the bottom of a building
and its foundation .
The bearings are designed to be very stiff
and strong for vertical load, so that they
can carry the weight of the building. However, they are designed
to be much weaker for horizontal loads, so that they can move
sideways during an earthquake.
Rubber bearings have been used to protect the Museum of New
Zealand from large earthquakes.
Museum of New Zealand
Museum of New Zealand photographs courtesy of
Rubber bearing in place before the building is constructed