The Chemical Company

Watson Bowman

WBA Announces New Patent on Seismic Technology

Patented wall joint system offers simple installation, increased security and improved structural integrity during seismic events.

Wabo®QuakeWall team pictured above, from left: Gary Moore, Engineering & Manufacturing Mgr.; Paul Bradford, Product Development Engineer; Scott McFadden, Design Detailer

September 6, 2017

WBA Announces Patent for Wabo®QuakeWall

"We needed a product that could accommodate large, high-speed movements," says Paul Bradford, one of the leading minds behind the development of Wabo®QuakeWall, WBA's newly patented wall joint system. As Bradford explains, the product began as a small-movement wall panel system, but changed direction after customer feedback. "Our original design was for 4 inches of movement, until customers began requesting up to 20 inches of movement. That's when [we realized] we had to come up with a brand-new concept."


The team behind Wabo®QuakeWall is three-strong, each heavily involved in its development. "Gary had the 'Big Picture' ideas, then Paul and I figured out how it would work," says Scott McFadden, lead designer. "My role was . . . the design of particular components, working through and prototyping them, then working with Paul to fine-tune them and bouncing ideas off each other. Paul has more of the technical know-how and knowledge of stresses and forces, whereas I [brought] more of the mechanical design."

Over 18 months of development, the team worked closely, experimenting with new ideas and cycling through several iterations before settling on the final design. Many of their ideas stemmed from concerns customers have had with current products in the marketplace. "When we were able to see installed examples of competitors' products and interview contractors, there were some improvements they saw that could be made and that we saw could be made," says Gary Moore, Engineering & Manufacturing Manager and third member of the Wabo®QuakeWall team. "We looked at the technology that was developed and implemented into the industry and made what we believe to be structural, safety and security improvements to it."

New Features

The newly patented Wabo®QuakeWall has a number of features designed to make it a cut above the competition. For one, there's the unique spring system, providing Wabo®QuakeWall with a high restoring force and greatly reducing the need to reset the panel after a seismic event. This helps customers reduce maintenance costs associated with seismic panels.

Second, Wabo®QuakeWall doesn't rely on magnetic security locks, which can lose significant strength if not perfectly aligned, allowing for anyone to access the panel. Instead, it uses a newly developed slide and locking mechanism, which offers an improvement in both security and service access. As McFadden puts it, "An analogy would be putting safety locks on your cupboard doors at home. You can't open it unless you know how it works."

"Another advantage is in our module approach," says Bradford. "Competitive systems come in different parts [that need to be put together]. With our system, you just drop it in place and screw it in."


Wabo®QuakeWall was released and patented in 2017 and is now available alongside WBA's existing line of expansion joint products. It is available for 6" to 48" wall joint openings. "We have already received orders," says McFadden. "And from what our sales reps have been hearing, customers are excited about what this product has to offer."


To learn more about Wabo®QuakeWall, visit our landing page for pictures, details, and other info. Don't forget to follow us on social media for regular updates on WBA products, customers, and people.