American Society of Civil Engineers

Development of High Performance Concrete Panels for Curtain Wall Systems

by L. K. Stewart, (Karagozian & Case, 2550 N. Hollywood Way, Suite 500Burbank, CA 91505 E-mail:, K. B. Morrill, (Karagozian & Case, 2550 N. Hollywood Way, Suite 500Burbank, CA 91505 E-mail:, and K. Natesaiyer, (USG Corporation, 550 W. Adams St. Chicago, IL 60661 E-mail:
Section: Blast Resistant Curtainwall, pp. 333-344, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Structures Congress 2012
Abstract: There has been an increasing interest in the use of advanced materials in the design of curtain wall systems to resist blast loading. This paper summarizes a series of tests on high performance concrete (HPC) and ultra high performance (UHPC) panels to characterize the panel strength in flexure and shear for several panel types under dynamic loading conditions. The tests were performing using three types of FORTOCRETE panels supplied by USG. One set of HPC panels was lightweight concrete fiber-reinforced FORTOCRETE structural panels developed by USG. Another set of UHPC panels consisted of FORTOCRETE Armor panels that use ultra high strength fiber-reinforced concrete with and without E-glass face sheets. The testing was conducted at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Blast Simulator Test Facility. A series of 20 panel tests were performed using the three panel types. Each panel was instrumented to provide experimental data to characterize the response of the panels that are suitable for developing and validating analytical models for the various configurations of FORTOCRETE panels. The instrumentation consisted of three types of measurements: 1) load measurements of the dynamic panel reactions, 2) strain measurements of the dynamic flexural strains in the panels, 3) velocity measurements of the overall panel deflection histories, and 4) dynamic reactions. Each panel type was tested at different levels of blast loading to achieve a range of panel damage responses ranging from light to failure. The experimental data was used to develop material property data, validate analytical response models and to generalize the panel results into PI response diagrams. Based on these results, several blast curtain wall concepts were developed for GSA Level C blast loads and above and were validated in full-scale wall experiments with the UCSD Blast Simulator.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Curtain walls
Blast loads