Our Company
Introduction to Dynamic Isolation Systems
DIS was a pioneer in the development and introduction of seismic isolation technology. Dynamic Isolation Systems helped to develop codes and provided design and analysis support to engineers and government agencies. Over the past 30 years DIS has continued to develop its isolators in response to ever-increasing performance requirements.
Dynamic Isolation Systems has provided over 15,000 isolators for more than 300 bridges and buildings worldwide. Prominent projects include the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco City Hall and the 1.7 million square-foot Tan Tzu Medical Center in Taiwan.
Our engineers provide technical support and parameters for structural modeling. Dynamic Isolation Systems will assist you with your feasibility study, budget development and value engineering. On projects where DIS has participated from the design/concept phase, costs have been reduced by up to thirty percent.
Manufacturing Capabilities
Dynamic Isolation Systems’ state-of-the-art 60,000 square-foot plant is located in Reno, Nevada, USA. All major steps of our manufacturing process are completed on-site. Because we don‘t out-source we’re able to maintain the highest production and performance standards in the industry.
Molding Press Capabilities
Isolators are molded in custom-designed and built mold presses with capacities ranging from 200 to 4,400 tons. In response to increased demand for larger-sized isolators, DIS now has four presses of over 2,000-ton capacity. We have manufactured isolators as large as 60 inches in diameter and weighing 10 tons each.
Steel processing is a major part of manufacturing our isolators and hardware. Several large, computer-controlled machining centers process our steel plates. They have the capacity to machine plates up to 80 inches wide.
Our main test rig has a shear displacement of ± 31 inches, a shear force capacity of 700 tons and an axial force capacity of 2,000 tons. Testing is also conducted in a smaller machine that has a shear displacement
capacity of ± 12 inches, a shear
force capacity of 100 tons
and an axial
force capacity
of 600 tons.
Seismic Isolation
Seismic isolation protects a structure from the destructive effects of an earthquake by decoupling it from the ground. This allows it to behave more flexibly which improves its response. In addition, the isolators absorb the earthquake energy, thereby reducing the energy transferred to the structure.
What Types of Structures are Isolation Candidates?
Hospitals, Bridges and Emergency Centers that require operation during and immediately after an earthquake
Structures with valuable contents or operations such as data centers, communications facilities, high-tech manufacturing facilities and museums
Buildings with high occupancy such as low to medium-rise residences and office buildings
Historic Structures
Portable Data Centers
LNG Tanks
Nuclear Reactors
Due to Lower Forces in the Superstructure, Lives are Protected, Contents are Preserved and the Building Remains Operational after an Earthquake.
What performance can be expected from a conventional structure?
Traditional structural design is only intended to prevent major failures and loss of life. This design approach does not consider
immediate occupation, the maintenance of operation nor does it provide for easy repair. Isolation ensures that the structure suffers minimal or no damage and is functional immediately following an earthquake.
How have isolation systems performed in earthquakes?
The USC Hospital using DIS isolators remained operational throughout the 1994 Northridge Earthquake with no damage. In contrast the Los Angeles County Medical Center located less than a mile away suffered $400 million of damage and was not operational after the earthquake.
Isolated Structures have Demonstrated a Record of Excellent Performance During an Earthquake.
The three million-pound Stanford Linear Accelerator (left) in California, protected by DIS isolators, was unscathed by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Elsewhere on campus damage was reported to be approximately $160 million.
The California Eel River Bridge was isolated using DIS isolators in 1988. It experienced accelerations of 0.55g in the 1992 Cape
Mendocino Earthquake. The bridge displaced
nine inches laterally and sustained no damage.
It returned to rest in its original position.
How does isolation provide cost savings?
In bridges, isolation reduces the foundation forces by up to 75%. The smaller
foundation translates into direct cost savings. A study of the Patria Aqueducto Bridge
in Mexico showed a reduction in foundation concrete and steel by a factor of 3.5.

In buildings, isolation provides cost savings over the life of the structure. An isolated
building will be essentially undamaged in an earthquake. By comparison a conventional
building’s structure and contents will be significantly damaged resulting in business interruption
for weeks, sometimes even months.
Conventional Structure:
The deformation pattern of a conventional structure
during an earthquake. Accelerations of the ground
are amplified on the higher floors and the contents are damaged.
Seismically Isolated Structure: The deformation pattern of an isolated structure during an earthquake. Movement takes place at the level of the isolators. Floor accelerations are low. The building, its occupants and contents are safe.