Research Article Open Access

Finite Element Analysis of Composite Hardened Walls Subjected to Blast Loads

Girum S. Urgessa1
  • 1 George Mason University, United States


Problem statement: There is currently no standard design guideline to determine the number of composites needed to retrofit masonry walls in order to withstand a given explosion. Past design approaches were mainly based on simplified single-degree-of-freedom analysis. A finite element analysis was conducted for concrete masonry walls hardened with composites and subjected to short duration blast loads. Approach: The analysis focused on displacement time history responses which form the basis for retrofit design guidelines against blast loadings. The blast was determined from 0.5 kg equivalent TNT explosive at 1.83 m stand-off distance to simulate small mailroom bombs. Two and four layered retrofitted walls were investigated. Uncertainties in the finite model analysis of walls such as pressure distributions, effect of mid height explosive bursts versus near the ground explosive bursts and variations in modulus of elasticity of the wall were presented. Results: Uniformly distributed blast loads over the retrofitted wall height produced a small difference in peak displacement results when compared to the non-uniform pressure distribution. Ground explosive burst was shown to produce a 62.7% increase in energy and a higher peak displacement response when compared to mid-height explosive burst. Conclusion: The parametric study on the variation of modulus of elasticity of concrete masonry showed no significant effect on peak displacement affirming the use of the resistance deflection contribution of the composite in retrofit designs.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 2 No. 4, 2009, 804-811


Submitted On: 31 July 2009 Published On: 31 December 2009

How to Cite: Urgessa, G. S. (2009). Finite Element Analysis of Composite Hardened Walls Subjected to Blast Loads. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 2(4), 804-811.

  • 4 Citations



  • Finite element analysis
  • concrete masonry units
  • composite materials
  • blast
  • explosives