FEA analysis of severe blast loading supports the design of survivable structures without necessarily requiring expensive physical simulations of a specific explosive or combustion event. It also suggests that established structural design guidelines for severe blast loading on steel structural members contain underestimates and may need revising. In the study described below, we gained a number of significant insights through modeling the progressive collapse of a steel frame structure.
Current U.S. design guidelines for steel connections in structures subjected to blast loads are based on recommendations in Department of Defense Technical Manual (TM) 5-1300TM. The approach idealizes real structures and structural elements as “equivalent” lumped-mass single degree-offreedom systems. Read more.
Our analyses suggest that connection behavior under blast loading varies significantly from standard design criteria, which may not be conservative enough and may require refinement and revision in light of nonlinear transient effects, such as progressive collapse. Finite-element analysis of progressive collapse due to blast effects also revealed sensitivity of failure mode to connections.