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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 45, Number 6, March25 2013, pages 803-819
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/sem.2013.45.6.803
 


Numerical analyses for the structural assessment of steel buildings under explosions
Pierluigi Olmati, Francesco Petrini and Franco Bontempi

 
Abstract
    This paper addresses two main issues relevant to the structural assessment of buildings subjected to explosions. The first issue regards the robustness evaluation of steel frame structures: a procedure is provided for computing \"robustness curves\" and it is applied to a 20-storey steel frame building, describing the residual strength of the (blast) damaged structure under different local damage levels. The second issue regards the precise evaluation of blast pressures acting on structural elements using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) techniques. This last aspect is treated with particular reference to gas explosions, focusing on some critical parameters (room congestion, failure of non-structural walls and ignition point location) which influence the development of the explosion. From the analyses, it can be deduced that, at least for the examined cases, the obtained robustness curves provide a suitable tool that can be used for risk management and assessment purposes. Moreover, the variation of relevant CFD analysis outcomes (e.g., pressure) due to the variation of the analysis parameters is found to be significant.
 
Key Words
    blast engineering; robustness; progressive collapse; blast action; gas explosions; steel buildings
 
Address
Pierluigi Olmati, Francesco Petrini and Franco Bontempi: Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
 

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