Advanced design methods for blast loaded steel structures (ADBLAST)
European Commission Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)
Steel structures and components can provide effective systems for blast resistance, yet this potential has not been adequately utilised due to lack of appropriate knowledge and methods.
This project aimed to develop fundamental design guidance for steel structures under external blast loads with emphasis on procedures suitable for typical industrial buildings. The work involved risk assessment and benchmark examples for certain scenarios including safety and performance requirements as well as derivation of pressure‑impulse loadings for structures.
Analytical methods were used to develop a simplified model, which allows for a numerical and analytical solution of blast loaded structures. This model allows for an easy design of blast loaded structural elements and full structures including nonlinear effects such as large deformations, membrane (or catenary) action of elements and effects of energy dissipation. This methodology leads to a significantly more efficient and economic design. By including the explicit consideration of fasteners and connectors involved in the membrane effects, the model can even predict connector failure and relate it to the achieved level of transversal deformation.
The method was validated by blast tests, laboratory experiments and by numerical computations. It proved to be applicable for the assessment of steel structures under external blast.
The methodology was comprehensively summarized and made available by preparing a design guide for structural engineers, where several examples are provided.