Development of a high-performance blast energy-absorbing system for building structures

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Shock absorbers have been widely used in the automotive and aeronautical industries for many years. Inspired on these devices, the paper presents an analytical and numerical assessment of a high performance protective system for building structures against blast loads, which is composed of a shielding element connected to the main structure, at the floor levels, through ductile Energy Absorbing Connectors (EACs). The EACs exploit the external tube inversion mechanism to absorb a significant part of the imparted kinetic energy from the blast wave. While the system prototype has been developed in laboratory, it was characterized and tested in a full-scale blast testing campaign. A validated finite element model was used next to analyze its performance in a more demanding design scenario. The introduction of EACs notably reduces the peak horizontal loads and the kinetic energy transferred to the protected structure, being expected a significant reduction of the stresses in the supporting vertical elements, in addition to the protection of structural and non-structural members. These results encourage further studies of the presented protective system that can be potentially employed for a large variety of blast threat scenarios, especially when increasing the stand-off is not a possible/viable option and sensitive facilities have to be protected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Protective Structures
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2023


  • blast mitigation
  • blast protection
  • blast testing
  • energy absorbing connectors
  • façade elements
  • fe modeling
  • inverted tubes


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