Probability of Survival in a Blast Environment

by Anatole Longinow, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Valparaiso Univ., Valparaiso, Ind. 46583,
Kuang-Han Chu, Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago, Ill.,
Nick T. Thomopoulos, Assoc. Prof.; Harold Leonard School of Management and Finance, Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 2, Pg. 309-330

Document Type: Journal Paper


The probability of survival of people located in personnel shelters when subjected to the blast effects produced by the detonation of a 1-MT weapon near the ground surface is studied. Personnel shelters analyzed are buried or with the roof slab at grade. The roof slap is the weakest structural component. Its partial or total collapse results in casualties. When the shelter is thus breached, casualties can also be produced by the blast loading when overpressures are sufficiently high. The analysis formulated predicts the probability of roof slab survival when subjected to an airblast loading. Probability of people survival against slab collapse is estimated based on the fraction of shelter area unaffected by collapse. Probability of survival against blast pressure entering the shelter area is determined using available casualty data. Results are combined to yield the probability of survival against both effects. The analysis considers the variability of selected geometric parameters of the roof slab, material properties and airblast parameters.

Subject Headings: Probability | Protective structures | Roofs | Slabs | Blasting effects | Material properties | Load factors | Structural failures

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