In recent times the need to protect ourselves from the hazards of explosive or ballistic attacks, either as a result of an accident or terrorist activity, has increased. This has led to the development of a number of products to help resist blast pressures, which often require analysis using advanced finite element modelling techniques.
One such example is the assessment of a blast panel which is designed to help vent blast pressures following an event within a structure. The blast panel is designed to deform plastically under blast loading, to enable the blast pressures to vent out into the atmosphere. The design of the panel is specific to the building and the threat, and would be fitted internally to the wall at risk. Generally the blast panels would be lightweight so that they fail quickly to enable adequate venting.
Moreover, because the buildings are often located in close proximity to other explosive facilities it is important that the external face of the blast wall is capable of resisting the applied blast load generated from a neighbouring facility and thereby avoiding sympathetic detonation and protecting personnel within the building.
In many cases the blast panels are made of stainless steel, with corrugations running top to bottom. They would be connected to the supporting structure with the use of steel sub-frame and mechanical fixings. A blast panel would be ‘rated’ to fail at a certain pressure, and designed by the manufacturer to resist an external dynamic pressure with some permanent deformation.
The blast panels considered in this case study were used in a variety of situations such as in explosive storage manufacturing compounds..