Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Supervisor

Ashraf El Damatty

2nd Supervisor

Greg Kopp

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

The existing methods to predict the blast effects on structures located behind blast walls are based on plane rigid walls and the results of small-scale studies, which are not validated by the results of full-scale experiments. Hence, they are only valid for a very limited range of scaled parameters. Also, they do not account for the impact of non-spherical charges or for different ignition points; they also put their emphasis on mid-and far-field overpressures.

The current thesis investigates blast wave propagations created by cuboid charges and their effects on structural members at close-in and nearby ranges. First, a preliminary numerical study using the ProSAir FE program is performed to investigate the effectiveness of a plane and canopied rigid blast wall, which is subjected to a close-in explosion. It was found that, when a canopy was used with the wall, the wall was more effective in reducing the blast wave resultants on the building located behind the wall.

As a part of this study, a High Speed Data Acquisition System was developed along with an in-house LabVIEW program to test the response of reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry walls, which were subjected to blast loading, and to measure the blast wave parameters.

Half-scale blast experiments are conducted to investigate the effectiveness of reinforced concrete perimeter walls of different shapes in reducing the blast wave resultants along the height of a target building located behind a blast wall a wall as well as to determine the maximum damage that the wall could suffer without fragmentation. The effectiveness of reinforced concrete and walls coupled with a reduction in the street elevation adjacent to a wall’s perimeter in reducing the blast wave resultants along the height of a target building located behind the wall was also investigated. It was found that changing the shape of the RC walls or erection of a plane blast wall combined with the lowering of adjacent street elevation could markedly reduce the blast wave resultants on structures located behind the walls.

Full-scale blast experiments were also conducted to investigate the effectiveness of reinforced canopied walls as well as the effectiveness of double fully-grouted reinforced masonry walls infilled with polyurethane foam. The walls were tested both with and without aluminum foam retrofitting and tested using both close-in and nearby explosions. In addition, the reduction level of the blast wave resultants along the height of a target building located behind these walls was investigated. It was found that in addition to adding a canopy to the top of a reinforced concrete wall, or using a double reinforced masonry wall infilled with polyurethane foam, and retrofitting the walls with aluminum foam reduced the blast wave resultants on structures located behind these walls.


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