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Long-duration blast loading and response of steel column sections at different angles of incidence

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journal contribution
posted on 17.10.2018 by Jack Denny, Simon Clubley
This paper reports experimental results pertaining to the effects of planar long-duration blast waves interacting with steel I-section column elements about different angles of incidence. Long-duration blast waves are typically defined by a positive pressure phase duration in excess of 100ms, characteristic of very large explosion events such as industrial accidents. Blasts of this magnitude result in large impulses and dynamic pressures with the potential to exert high drag forces on column elements within an open frame structure. Due to relatively small dimensions in comparison to the long-duration blast wavelength, individual column elements are predominantly subjected to translational drag loading. Blast drag loading is complex to characterise, generally requiring approximation using drag coefficients, although proposed values in literature display inconsistency and typically lack provision for multi-axis interaction with I-shape geometries. Four full-scale long-duration experiments investigated blast interaction and elastic structural response of two steel I-section columns as a function of orientation to the incident shock wave. Drag coefficients were calculated as a function of I-section orientation using experimental pressure data and compared to values proposed in literature. It was found that drag coefficients proposed in literature have the potential to under predict drag loading for certain oblique I-section orientations examined in these experiments. Importantly, intermediate oblique I-section orientations recorded higher loading and exhibited higher drag coefficients compared to orthogonal orientations, resulting in larger structural elastic response. Results from this experimental work have confirmed that I-section columns are axis-sensitive to blast wave direction giving rise to varying magnitudes of drag loading and structural response.


The authors wish to thank the UK EPSRC (EPSRC DTP 13 - EP/L505067/1) and AWE plc for financial support.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Engineering Structures


DENNY, J. and CLUBLEY, S.K., 2018. Long-duration blast loading and response of steel column sections at different angles of incidence. Engineering Structures, 178, pp.331-342.




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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.







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