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 Many nations have become victims of terrorism on a grand

 Bombs have exploded in and around buildings in many
countries causing civilian casualties and structural damage.
 Protecting civilian buildings from increasing crime and
terrorist activity is one of the most critical design challenges
 Protecting the building against vehicle bomb attacks has
become a priority.
 Due to different accidental or intentional events, related to
important structures all over the world, explosive loads have
received considerable attention in recent years.
Terrorist Tactics
Basic Parameters of Bomb Blast

 Blast is sudden release of energy and explosion can be

identified as being due to gas, nuclear, bombs or
 In the case of buildings, the following parameters need
urgent attention:
 The magnitude of the explosion.
 The stand off distance.
 The geometry of a building structural
 The structure orientation with respect to
explosive and the ground.
Explosive and Bomb phenomenon

• An explosion is defined as a large scale, rapid and sudden release

of energy
• The detonation of a condensed high explosive generates hot gases
under pressure up to 300 kilo bar and a temperature of about
• Blast wave instantaneously increases to a value of pressure
above the ambient atmospheric pressure.
After a short
time, the
pressure behind
the front may
drop below the
pressure. During
such a negative
phase, a partial
vacuum is
created and air is
sucked in
The nature of
blast loading
A layer of compressed
air, known as the blast
wave, forms in front of
the expanding gas and is
characterized by an
instantaneous rise from
ambient pressure to a
peak incident pressure
As the gas expands the
pressure decreases until
it falls, eventually, to or
below the atmospheric
This –ve pressure
duration longer than +ve
phase and lower peak
If the explosion is
close to, or on the
ground surface, a
small proportion
of the energy will
be transmitted
through the
ground as seismic
waves, whereas
most of the energy
will be absorbed
by the ground
surface displacing
it and forming a
 Blast load is applied to the perimeter structural
elements of a building
 The blast wave duration, td, is typically in the range
of 0.1 – .001 seconds
 The magnitude that initial velocity, for a single-
degree-of-freedom (SDOF) model, is v =fotd/2m
 The mass of the structural element is the only
system parameter that controls the magnitude of
the initial motion of the system – the more
massive the structural element, the less it will be
excited by the impulse from the blast wave
Charges situated
extremely close to a
target structure
impose a highly
impulsive, high
intensity pressure
load over a localized
region of the
structure; charges
situated further away
produce a lower
intensity, longer-
duration uniform
pressure distribution
over the entire
Blast Wave Scaling Laws

 A universal normalized description of the blast

effects can be given by scaling distance relative to
 Z = R/W1/3
 where R is the actual effective distance from the
 W is generally expressed in kilograms
Prediction of Blast Pressure

 Estimations of peak overpressure due to spherical blast

based on scaled distance Z =R/W1/3 was introduced by
Brode (1955) as:
Pso =6.7/z^3 +1 bar (Pso > 10 bar )
 Newmark and Hansen (1961) introduced a relationship
to calculate the maximum blast overpressure, Pso, in
bars, for a high explosive charge detonates at the
ground surface as:
Pso = 6784 W /R^3 + 93 (W/ R^3)^0.5
 the peak overpressure in kPa is introduced by Mills
Pso = 1772 /z^3 – 114/ z^2 + 108/z
Structural response to blast loading

 Elastic SDOF Systems:

 The equation of motion of the un-damped elastic
SDOF system for a time ranging from 0 to the
positive phase duration, td, is given by Biggs (1964)
MŸ+ Ky = Fm (1-t / td)
 The general solution can be expressed as:
 Displacement: Y(t) = Fm/k* (1- coswt) + Fm/Ktd
(sinwt / w –t)
 Velocity: Ý(t) = dy/dt =Fm/K[wsinwt +
 The dynamic load factor, DLF, is defined as the ratio
of the maximum dynamic deflection ym to the static
deflection yst which would have resulted from the
static application of the peak load Fm,
DLF = ymax/yst = ymax/(Fm/K) = ψ(wtd) = ψ(td/T)
Failure modes of blast-loaded structures

 Blast loading effects on structural members may

produce both local and global responses
 The type of structural response depends mainly on
the loading rate, the orientation of the target with
respect to the direction of the blast wave propagation
and boundary conditions
 Local responses are characterized by localized
bleaching and spalling, and generally result from the
close-in effects of explosions
 global responses are typically manifested as flexural
 Global failure mode to be considered is shear failure
 Local response depends mainly on the distance
between the source of the explosion and the target
and the relative strength/ductility of the structural
 Breaching failure due to close in explosion
Principles of blast-resistant planning
of structure
Stand-off Zone:
 Bollards planters, fountains, fences as obstacles to ramming
vehicles/truck bombs
 Keep parking away from the building. Restricted parking or no
parking underneath the building
 Structural Reinforcement:
 Avoid re-entrant corners on the exterior where blast pressures may
build up.
 Eaves and overhangs to be designed to withstand high local
pressure and suction during blast.
 Curtain walls and masonry walls break up readily and become
secondary fragments during blast. Consider using reinforced cast-
in-place concrete walls, at least for the lower floors. It minimizes
flying debris and assists in carrying additional load.
Structural Framing:-
 Avoid exposed structural elements such as columns
on the exterior
 Provide structural redundancy to carry severe
dynamic loading and reduce the chance of
progressive collapse
 Properly detail beam-column connections to resist
upward or downward blast loads
 Provide ductile details for structural connections to
absorb the blast energy
 Concrete floor slab failure locally, Transfer load to
adjacent horizontal support
 Provide alternate load paths
 Provide additional beams at critical areas for
additional vertical and lateral support
 Provide drop panels at perimeter column capitals to
reduce the supporting span of slab above.
Blast resistant design of structure

 Blast-resistant design is element-focused

 It enhances toughness, ductility, strength and
dynamic characteristics of individual structural
elements for resistance to air-blast induced loading.

The design procedure includes:

 1) Blast load definition
 2) Response limit selection
 3) Trial member sizing and reinforcing
 4) Nonlinear dynamic SDOF analysis of the member
 5) Comparing the calculated SDOF response with the
response limit and adjusting the trial member as
 1) Balanced design often leads to a strong column –
weak beam approach, with the intent that beam
failure is preferable to column failure.
 2) Provide sufficient shear transfer to floor slabs so
that directly applied blast loads can be resisted by
the diaphragms rather than weak-axis beam
 3) Transfer girders should be avoided in regions
identified as having a high blast threat
 Design critical columns to be able to span two
stories, in the event that lateral bracing is lost,
particularly when using a weak beam approach.
Detailing and Connections:
 1) Use special seismic moment frame details.
 2) Avoid splices at plastic hinge locations.
 3) Provide continuous reinforcing through joints.
 4) Used hooked bars where continuous reinforcing is
not possible.
Technical design manuals for blast-
resistant design
 Structures to Resist the Effects of Accidental
Explosions, TM 5-1300 (U.S. Departments of
the Army, Navy, and Air Force, 1990).
 Widely used publication by both military and civilian
organizations for designing structures to prevent the
propagation of explosion and to provide protection
for personnel and valuable equipment.
 A Manual for the Prediction of Blast and
Fragment Loadings on Structures, DOE/TIC-
11268 (U.S. Department of Energy, 1992).
 This manual provides guidance to the designers of
facilities subject to accidental explosions and aids in
the assessment of the explosion-resistant capabilities
of existing buildings.
 Fundamentals of Protective Design for
Conventional Weapons, TM 5-855-1 (U.S.
Department of the Army, 1986).
 This manual provides procedures for the design and
analysis of protective structures subjected to the
effects of conventional weapons

 For high-risks facilities such as public and

commercial tall buildings, design considerations
against extreme events (bomb blast, high velocity
impact) is very important. It is recommended that
guidelines on abnormal load cases and provisions on
progressive collapse prevention should be included
in the current Building Regulations and Design
Standards. Requirements on ductility levels also help
improve the building performance under severe load

 M.Y.H.Bangash & T.Bangash , ‘ Explosion Resistant Buildings’

 T. Ngo,P.Mendis,A.Gupta, ‘Blast Loading and Blast Effects on
 Ngo, T., Mendis, P., Hongwei, M. & Mak, S., “High strain rate
behaviour of concrete cylinders subjected to uniaxial compressive
impact loading”, Proc. of 18th Australasian Conference on the
Mechanics of Structures and Materials, Perth, Australia. 2004a.
 Mills, C.A., “ The design of concrete structure to resist explosions
and weapon effects,” Proceedings of the 1stInt. Conference on
concrete for hazard protections, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 61-73, 1987.
 Dennis M.Mc Cann and S.J.Smith, ‘Blast Resistant Design Of
Reinforced Concrete Structure’
 Henry Wong, ‘Blast-Resistant Building Design Technology’