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handbook for blast resistant design of buildings

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The need for protection against the effects of explosions is not new. The use of explosive weaponry by the military necessitated resistive entrenchments ages ago. Industrialization of our societies well over a century ago meant that we intended to manufacture, store, handle, and use explosives in constructive ways. To support these military and industrial purposes, a relatively small group of designers have worked to devise ways to strengthen the blast resistance of our structures. 

Early attempts at blast-resistance design necessarily relied on judgment, test, and trial-and-error construction to find the best solutions. As technology improved, designers became better able to predict the influences of explosions and the resistive responses that they strove to impart into their designs. 

More recently, in the past several decades chemists, physicists, blast consultants, and structural engineers have been empowered by technologies and computational tools that have enhanced the precision of their analyses and the efficiency of their designs. At the same time, the need has increased.

 The small contingent of designers skilled in the art and science of creating structural designs that will resist explosive forces has been joined by a larger group of architects, engineers, blast consultants, and security consultants who are trying to respond to the increasing concern from a broader group of clients who fear an exposure that they did not anticipate before and frequently did not bring upon themselves.

 Consultants who have never before had to assess risks, devise risk-reduction programs, provide security systems, establish design-base threats, calculate the pressures and impulses from explosions, and create cost-effective structural designs are being thrust into the process. Many are ill-trained to respond. There are several good references on some of the aspects of designing for blast resistance. 

Some of these references support military purposes or for other reasons have government-imposed restrictions against dissemination. As such, they are not widely available to consultants working in the private sector.

 Nearly all those references and the references that are public each treat an aspect of blast phenomenology, security systems, and structural design for blast resistance, but few, if any, bring together in one place discussions of the breadth of the issues that are important for competent designs. Consultants are forced to collect a library of references and extract from each the salient information that they then synthesize into a comprehensive design approach In addition, practitioners who do receive the limited-distribution references for the first time or who find references that are public usually discover immediately that designing for blast resistance is completely different from designing for any environmental load they encountered previously.

 Designers often realize quickly that they are embarking on design process for which they do not have the knowledge or experience for adequate competency. Those who do not have this realization might be operating at risk if they are not careful and thorough students. The purpose for this handbook is to bring together into one publication discussions of the broad range of issues that designers need to understand if they are to provide competent, functional, and cost-efficient designs. The contributors to this book are among the most knowledgeable and experienced consultants and researchers in blast resistant design, and contribute their knowledge in a collaborative effort to create a comprehensive reference.

 Many of the contributors to this handbook are collaborating in the development of the first-ever public-sector standard for blast resistant design, being developed contemporaneously with this handbook by the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Engineers. While there undoubtedly will be some differences between the SEI standard and this handbook, many readers will consider these publications as companions. This handbook is organized into four parts, each addressing a range of aspects of blast-resistance design.

 Part 1: Design Considerations provides an overview of basic principles. It has five chapters dealing with general considerations and the design process; risk analyses, reduction, and avoidance; criteria that establish acceptable performance; the science of materials performance under the extraordinary blast environment; and performance verification for technologies and solution methodologies.

 Part 2: Blast Phenomena and Loadings, in three chapters, describes the explosion environment, loading functions to be used for blast response analysis, and fragmentation and associated methods for effects analyses. Part 3: System Analysis and Designhas five chapters that cover analysis and design considerations for structures. This part instructs on structural, building envelope, component space, site perimeter, and building system designs.

 Part 4: Blast-Resistant Detailing addresses detailing structural elements for resistance. Chapters on concrete, steel, and masonry present guidance that is generally applicable for new design. The fourth chapter addresses retrofits of existing structures.

 I wish to thank all the contributors for their commitment to this work, their collaborative spirit, and, of course, their willingness to share the blast-related expertise that they have presented in their chapters. I wish to thank Steven Smith of CTLGroup in particular, for organizing and harmonizing the four chapters of

 Part 4. William Zehrt of the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board improved the quality of this handbook by reviewing the chapters of Part 2 I also wish to thank James Harper, Editor of John Wiley & Sons for supporting this effort; Daniel Magers, Senior Editorial Assistant, and Amy Odum for her able supervision of the copyediting and production; and the copyeditors, compositors, typesetters, and others of the publisher’s staff who have professionally assembled this book and brought it to publication .