Enhanced Blast-Resistance of an Innovative High-Strength Steel Stud Wall System

December 30, 2012
Publication: SEAOC 2012 Convention Proceedings, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Structural Engineers Association of California p 349-360
Author(s): Aviram, Ady Ronald Mayes Ronald Hamburger

Abstract: Under a Department of Defense-sponsored program to evaluate the use of very high strength, vanadium alloy steel in military applications, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. (SGH) developed and tested an innovative and cost-effective, composite steel stud wall system that can resist extremely large impulsive blast pressures in a stable and ductile manner. This system takes advantage of the very high strength-to-weight characteristics of high-strength steel and relies on simple connection details for wall anchorage. The resulting wall system provides a robust, economical and practical solution for protection of new and existing buildings. SGH conducted an extensive analytical and testing program to validate the composite wall's effectiveness under high blast impulses. The experimental program included numerous blast simulation tests at the University of California, San Diego's Blast Simulator facilities, and both live explosive and quasistatic tests at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The full-scale specimen tests confirmed the system's application for retrofit of unreinforced masonry and as stand-alone construction. Analytical validation included explicit ABAQUS finite element analysis. The analytical results matched the experimentally-obtained force and deformation demands within 10%. SGH developed preliminary design tools and implementation guidelines for selection and detailing of composite wall systems to effectively achieve the target performance for specified explosive threat levels. The preliminary guidelines provide substantial broadening of the applicable range of response limits for stud wall systems previously specified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Protective Design Center.

Services: Materials Design