The study of blast effects on structures has been an area of formal technical investigation for over 60 years. There are numerous texts, guides and manuals on the subject, with continuing research and technical reporting occurring at a brisk pace. However, there is limited guidance available in the literature on the direct application of established blast effects principals to structural design. Numerous efforts are under way to develop comprehensive guides and standards to fill this void. This article presents a general overview of key design concepts for reinforced concrete structures.
Blast Resistance and Progressive Collapse Progressive collapse-resistant design mitigates disproportionately large failures following the loss of one or more structural elements. Progressive collapse-resistant design is system-focused, and is often divided into two approaches, direct and indirect. The direct method designs the structural system to respond to a specific threat either by providing an alternate load path in the event of failure of one or more members, or by specific local-resistance improvements of key elements. This method is similar to blast-resistant design. The indirect method provides general systemic improvements to toughness, continuity and redundancy; tension ties are an example of an indirect detailing technique.
Blast-resistant design is element-focused. It enhances toughness, ductility, strength and dynamic characteristics of individual structural elements for resistance to air-blast induced loading. This article is devoted to blast-resistant design, though there is overlap with progressive collapse-resistant design.