An engineering approach

for the basic design of glazed surfaces under blast waves

Nowadays the design of blast-resistant glazed façades is acquiring importance to comply with building safety standards. The high-pressure generated by the blast-wave air-front can lead to catastrophic failure of the glass panes and/or their load-bearing structure, with a possible projection of fragments that constitutes a potential threat for human lives and properties.

The time-dependent deformations-history is usually assessed via numerical analyses and/or experimental investigations, but it is difficult to recognize the role of each element in the dynamic response of the whole. Here, to guide structural design, we propose a simple analytical model that permits a synthetic view of the phenomenon.

The dynamic interaction between the blast wave and the ensemble of glazed panels and load-bearing structure is studied in few paradigmatic lumped element models, representing glass panels supported by beams or tensioned cables, using Rayleigh’s method to reduce the plate-behavior of each glass panels to a single-degree-of-freedom oscillator. With reasonable approximations of the Friedlander waveform, the dynamic equations are solved. This analytical treatment quantifies the importance of the load-bearing structure in absorbing the biggest part of blast wave energy, to preserve the integrity of the glass.

Authors

Massimo Maffeis
Maffeis Engineering | Italy

Gianni Royer-Carfagni
Maffeis Engineering | Italy

Department of Engineering and Architecture
University of Parma | Italy

Construction Technologies Institute
Italian National Research Council | Italy

Luca Viviani
Department of Engineering and Architecture
University of Parma | Italy

Construction Technologies Institute
Italian National Research Council | Italy

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