Characteristics of confined blast loading in unvented structures

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Journal Article
International Journal of Protective Structures, 2011, 2 (1), pp. 21 - 44
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Confined blast loading occurs in many scenarios and the effects of confined blast loading may result in more serious damage to buildings due to multiple shock reflections (Shi et al. 2009). However, spherical charges are assumed for all confined explosive-effects computations in modern standards for blast-resistant design such as UFC-3-340-02 (2008) and the soon-to-be published ASCE Standard for the Blast Protection of Buildings (ASCE forthcoming) without consideration of effects of charge shape on the distribution of reflected overpressure and impulse. As confinement is an aggravation factor of explosion effects, analysis and design of infrastructure under critical scenarios of confined blast loading should take the aggravation factor into consideration. This paper is to develop a numerical model for prediction of blast loads inside unvented structures as a result of variation of the charge shape, charge orientation, geometries and volumes of confined chambers. A finite element program, AUTODYN (Century Dynamics, 2003), is utilized extensively to generate a model which is capable of being calibrated with the experimental results conducted by Wu et al. (2010) in external conditions and by Zyskowski et al. (2004) in a confined small box. The calibrated AUTODYN model is then used to conduct parametric studies to analyze the effects of the variation of charge shape, charge orientation, chamber geometry and chamber volume on the peak reflected overpressure and impulse on the walls of the chamber. The quasi-static overpressure for fully confined blast loading is characterized and the simulated results are used to derive the relationships between the quasi-static overpressure and scaled distance for the fully confined blast loading. Discussion is made on characteristics of fully confined blast loading inside chambers.
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