Risk-based assessment of blast-resistant design of ultra-high performance concrete columns

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Structural Safety, 2021, 88, pp. 1-10
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In conventional structural protective design against blast loads conservative structural designs are anticipated. However, unknown factors that include threat uncertainty, blast load variation, construction methods, material quality, etc., could impact the accuracy of assessment and design, sometimes even leading to an overestimation of structural capacity to explosive blast effects or an underestimation of actual blast pressures. In the present study, structural safety and reliability analyses of Ultra-high Performance Concrete (UHPC) columns under varying blast scenarios are performed. The variation in column dimensions, steel reinforcement, UHPC material strength, explosive range and mass, and numerical and blast load model errors are considered. The peak reflected pressure and impulse from the selected blast scenarios are derived based on variation in the explosive mass and standoff distance. Failure probabilities of columns made of this emerging high performance concrete material are then estimated. It was found that for a UHPC column designed for blast the probability of major damage given an explosive blast load varies from 1 × 10−2 to 1 × 10−5 for explosive ordnance and terrorism blast scenarios. This provides a reasonable margin of safety against major structural damage. It was also found that the risk reducing benefit of blast-resistant UHPC columns can be considerable.
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