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RE: Blast Resistant Building Design for Blast Containment

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Wanted to make sure someone was listening before I drug out the story.

We've got a "test cell" building to design. Four test cells, three small
(0.7 kg TNT equivalent) and one large (1.4 kg TNT equivalent). They are
adjacent to a lab space that is expected to be occupied.

The outward facing walls we will make "blast vented" so that the impulse
from a blast will be limited (at least that's my understanding of how this
works). There will be a wall stood off from this wall to shield property and
living organisms from any debris that might be blown outward.

The common wall with the occupied lab space is my concern, however.

An additional complication, at least the way I see it, is that there is a
"blast lock" in one corner of each cell, such that someone can go through a
door from the lab to the lock, then turn 90 degrees to go through a blast
door into a cell. Each cell is thus an irregular "ell" shape, to accomodate
the lock.

The client wants to use all "tilt-up" construction (which I don't see as
viable for the test cell portion of the building). Is this possible, in your

Also, how much help is the "blast vent" wall panel array? How much can it be
expected to mitigate the blast impulse overpressure acting on the other

How about the wall joints? The only other deal like this that I've ever done
we used non-reentrant corners. This has 'em all over the place.

I wonder if some sort of "composite" R/C wall, maybe with a sandwiched layer
of something like styrofoam (deformational) or lead shot (mass) would help
to cushion the blow?

Finally, how would you approach this analytically? Is there a simplified
analysis that you could use? We have the Army TM 5-1300 manual(s), but I
haven't perused them enough to tell if they give guidance in this regard.

Any thoughts you'd have along these lines would be much appreciated.

Thanks and regards.

-----Original Message-----
From: JCohen [mailto:jccpc(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 9:59 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Blast Resistant Building Design for Blast Containment


James Cohen
James Cohen Consulting, P.C.
PO Box 130
Pennington, NJ 08534
Tel: (609) 730-0510
Fax: (609) 730-0511

----- Original Message -----
From: "Polhemus, Bill" <wlpolhemus(--nospam--at)>
To: <structx(--nospam--at)>; <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 10:37
Subject: Blast Resistant Building Design for Blast Containment

> Is anyone here conversant with this topic?
> If so, please yell!