Pre-Test and Analysis of a Reinforced Concrete Slab Subjected to Blast From a Non-Confined Explosive

Pre-Test and Analysis of a Reinforced Concrete Slab Subjected to Blast From a Non-Confined Explosive

Fausto B. Mendonça (Aeronautics Institute of Technology, Brazil) and Girum S. Urgessa (George Mason University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2903-3.ch013


A large scale experimental program consisting of testing 10 RC slabs with different variations of concrete compressive strength, reinforcement ratio and retrofit was conducted in Brazil. As part of that test program, a small-scale blast pre-test setup and associated dynamic analysis were conducted in order to confirm the proper functioning of the blast test sensors (pressure gages, displacement meter and accelerometers). The results of the pre-test were compared with theoretical blast wave parameter predictions using established equations and maximum displacement predictions using simplified dynamic analysis. The pre-test experiment provided useful insights and was shown to be critical for the success of the subsequent large scale blast tests.
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Representative Blast Test Experiments Using Rc Slabs

The study of RC structures subjected to blast has been growing since the 20th century. Lessons from many accidents and two World Wars boosted research efforts in this area. In 1960, the first edition of the manual “Structures to Resist the Effects of Accidental Explosions” (Department of Defense, 2008) was published. Nevertheless, construction materials continue to evolve in composition and continue to provide more resistance to blast loads. Design codes and practice still lag behind in adopting or mandating requirements for blast analysis and design. Nonetheless, researchers have been conducting blast tests to improve our understanding of structural response for blast effects (Choi et al., 2008; Urgessa, 2009; Urgessa and Maji, 2010). Zhao and Chen (2013) conducted blast tests to verify the response of a thin RC slab with 42 MPa (6.09 ksi) having three different equivalent TNT mass and stand-off distance. Their tests verified that the higher the TNT mass and the lower the stand-off distance, the higher the damage recorded. In addition, their results pointed out that the response of concrete and reinforcement when subjected to blast have an increase in resistance, the dynamic increase factor (ASCE, 2010; Ngo et al., 2007; Urgessa, 2010).

Castedo et al. (2015) presented full-scale slab tests with variations in concrete mix composition. They showed that adding steel and polypropylene fibers to the slab resulted in a higher capacity to support blast waves. The steel fibers improved the tensile strength of the concrete and the polypropylene improved the capacity to absorb energy in opening cracks.

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