Blast Protection Assessment and Design

Geosyntec's scientists and engineers provide specialized design services to clients constructing new blast-resistant structures or strengthening and retrofitting existing structures.

Our designs address a wide variety of blast types, including accidental gas explosions, dust explosions, weapons effects, and improvised explosive devices. For each blast type, we model the associated effects, including deflagration, detonation, reflection, ground-borne vibration, and primary and secondary fragmentation.

Typically, the structural frames of blast-resistant buildings consist of many types of construction materials, including steel, reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete, and reinforced and unreinforced masonry. Cladding can range from heavy reinforced concrete, through profiled steel and across the whole range of architectural finishes including precast panels, composite insulated panels, laminated glass, doors, metallic systems, and other bespoke materials. We define blast scenarios and quantify overpressure and duration data with distance from a blast source. We also consult on structural design, detailing of connections, and integration of above-grade structures with foundation design.

Our qualified structural engineers routinely contribute to the development of code and criteria documents for blast and other loading conditions, and serve on various code-forming committees for professional and industry organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Concrete Institute.

Our staff have designed more than 150 blast-resistant control rooms, operator shelters, and multi-story living quarters and their supporting foundations in petroleum facilities throughout the world. We have also evaluated and provided the retrofit design for blast loads at more than 30 existing structures, and led the blast-resistant design of more than 10 buildings and fa├žades to withstand the blast and impact effects which may occur as a result of terrorist attacks.

Our blast design process begins by developing the design basis. When required, we employ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques for both gas dispersion analysis and blast load prediction. We then assess structural or cladding response using procedures including simplified calculations, such as single degree of freedom (SDOF) analysis, and non-linear finite element (FE) analyses using software such as ABAQUS/Standard, ABAQUS/Explicit, and LS-DYNA.

Lead Consultants

  • Andrew Nelson, CEng
    Andrew Nelson is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Australia with more than 20 years of experience in technical safety engineering and risk management. His practice is focused on hazardous indus ...
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a specialized consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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