American Society of Civil Engineers

Full-Scale Testing and Analysis for Blast-Resistant Design

by Arup K. Maji, F.ASCE, (Prof. and Chair, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. E-mail:, Jay P. Brown, (Vice. Pres. for Strategic Technol., Zapata Engrg., 6302 Fairview Rd., Ste. 600, Charlotte, NC 28210), and Girum S. Urgessa, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ., Envir. and Infrastructure Engrg., George Mason Univ., 4400 University Dr., Mail Stop 6C1, Fairfax, VA 22030. E-mail:

Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2008, pp. 217-225, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Special Section: Impact Behavior and High Energy Absorbing Materials
Abstract: A full-scale blast test was conducted on a structure representing a mailroom, constructed with unreinforced masonry walls. The four walls were retrofitted with different quantities of glass fiber-reinforced polymers (GFRP) on the outside face to increase their resistance to the blast load. In addition, shotcrete was added to the inside face of the two long walls. The objective of this test was to validate a method of analysis that can be used to design effective retrofit techniques to contain blast loads. A blast load was produced by the detonation of a 0.91 kg (2 lb) equivalent TNT charge placed near the center of the room. Instrumentation on individual walls monitored the blast pressure and the consequent displacement and velocity of the walls. Although the walls sustained extensive internal damage and plastic deformation, the retrofit was able to withstand the blast load. It was observed through the postmortem analysis of the test that the stiffness of the walls is completely lost at an early stage and only membrane action of the GFRP provides structural resistance.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Fiber reinforced polymer
Full-scale tests