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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc

T. Brvik a,b,*, A.G. Hanssen a,c, M. Langseth a, L. Olovsson a,d

a

Structural Impact Laboratory (SIMLab), Centre for Research-based Innovation (CRI) and Department of Structural Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology,

Rich. Birkelands vei 1A, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Norwegian Defence Estates Agency, Research and Development Department, PB 405, Sentrum, NO-0103 Oslo, Norway

c

IMPETUS Afea AS, Strandgaten 32, NO-4400 Flekkefjord, Norway

d

IMPETUS Afea AB, Frrdsvgen 18, SE-141 46 Huddinge, Sweden

b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 14 March 2008

Accepted 20 February 2009

Available online 29 March 2009

Keywords:

Blast load

Experimental results

Structural response

Numerical simulations

LS-DYNA

Uncoupled and coupled EulerianLagrangian

a b s t r a c t

Design and validation of structures against blast loads are important for modern society in order to protect and secure its citizen. Since it is a challenge to validate and optimise protective structures against

blast loads using full-scale experimental tests, we have to turn our attention towards advanced numerical

tools like the nite element method. Several different nite element techniques can be used to describe

the response of structures due to blast loads. Some of these are: (1) a pure Lagrangian formulation, (2) an

initial Eulerian simulation (to determine the load) followed by a Lagrangian simulation (for the structural

response) and (3) a hybrid technique that combines the advantages of Eulerian and Lagrangian methods

to have a full coupling between the blast waves and the deformation of the structure. Ideally, all blast

simulations should be carried out using the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian approach, but this may

not be practical as the computational time increases considerably when going from a pure Lagrangian

to a fully coupled EulerianLagrangian simulation. A major goal in this study is to investigate if a pure

Lagrangian formulation can be applied to determine the structural response in a specied blast load problem or if more advanced approaches such as the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian approach is required

for reliable results. This is done by conducting numerical simulations of an unprotected 20 ft ISO container exposed to a blast load of 4000 kg TNT at 120 m standoff distance using the three different

approaches presented above. To validate and discuss the results, the simulated response of the container

is compared to available data from a full-scale blast test under such conditions.

2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Design and validation of various structures against ballistic impacts and blast loads are important for modern society in order to

protect and secure its citizen. While most ballistic impact scenarios

by KE-projectiles are regarded as complex material problems,

where full-scale component tests can rather easily be accomplished, blast loads are regarded as structural problems. Since it

is difcult, expensive and often impossible to validate and optimise

protective structures or vital infrastructure against blast loads

using full-scale experimental tests, we have to turn our attention

towards advanced numerical tools like the nite element method

(FEM).

Historically, blast load and structural response have been treated separately. Calculations of the blast load propagation and diffraction around structures have normally been carried out using

for Research-based Innovation (CRI) and Department of Structural Engineering,

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Rich. Birkelands vei 1A, NO-7491

Trondheim, Norway. Tel.: +47 73 59 46 47; fax: +47 73 59 47 01.

E-mail address: tore.borvik@ntnu.no (T. Brvik).

0045-7949/$ - see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2009.02.005

loaded structure behaves as a rigid body. The obtained loading

has then often been used together with some simplied analytical

models [4,5] or design manuals [6,7] to calculate the structural response. On the contrary, the structural response due to blast loads

may be simulated using a Lagrangian nite element formulation,

e.g. [810], often by use of a simplied blast load description

(based on ConWep [11] or similar). However, during blast loading

motions of structures and uids are directly coupled due to an

interaction between the deformation of the solid and the motion

of the uid, and they should in fact be considered simultaneously.

Fluid mechanics problems cannot be treated effectively with

Lagrangian meshes due to severe mesh distortions, and hybrid

techniques combining the advantages of Euler and Lagrangian formulation have been developed [12]. Such methods, using an arbitrary LagrangianEulerian (ALE) formulation and a uidstructure

interaction (FSI) contact interface, have during the last decades

been implemented in commercial software like LS-DYNA [13],

ABAQUS [14], AUTODYN [15] and EUROPLEXUS [16]. So far these

methods have not been fully adopted for industrial application

and further development and in particular validation are needed

(see also [1722]). More recently, meshless methods (to reduce

508

Nomenclature

V0

V

vr

m

c

p0

p

T

T0

Tr

initial volume

volume

V/V0

particle velocity

speed of sound

initial pressure

pressure

temperature

initial temperature

T/T0

Lagrangian formulations have been adopted to describe the propagation of the blast load [23,24].

Most blast load problems can roughly be divided into four major phases, i.e. (1) the detonation phase where the exploding

source produces gases with high pressures and temperatures that

propagate outwards by generating pressure waves which interact

with the surrounding medium, (2) the propagation phase where

high intensity blast waves propagate a certain distance in the surrounding medium, from the source towards the target, (3) the

interaction phase between the propagating waves and the target,

and (4) the response of the target due to the blast waves. Even

though the four phases have been separated above there are direct

couplings between them, and they are all of importance to fully describe the response of structures exposed to blast loads. In the

codes presented above, it is possible to simulate all processes of

the blast load as long as a TNT equivalent of the detonating source

is known (see [1921]). It is still an open question if it is necessary

to model all blast phases in all types of problems, or if some problem can be simplied by modelling only a few of them. In this paper, the detonation phase itself will not be modelled since the blast

load is caused by a plane wave generated from compressed air.

Several different methods can be used to describe blast loads

against structures by FEM. In LS-DYNA [13], at least three different

approaches are possible. These are: (1) A pure Lagrangian formulation. Here the blast load is approximated as an idealized pressure

time curve applied directly to the segments on a given surface

(often modelled with shell elements). During a simulation, the

pressure vector always stays normal to the surface of the shell,

independent of the structural deformation. If the deformations

are moderate the pure Lagrangian approach may give reasonable

results. (2) The second alternative involves running an Eulerian

simulation prior to a Lagrangian simulation. This method can be

used to nd the pressuretime load on all faces surrounding a

structure without taking the full coupling effects into account.

Thus, the method will only give reliable results if the interaction

effects between the load and deforming structure are small (i.e.

essentially no or very small deections of the structure during

blast loading). The advantageous is that the computational time

is considerable reduced compared to a fully coupled simulation.

The procedure is in principle carried out in three simulation steps:

Based on a given blast wave approaching a structure (based on, e.g.

ConWep [11] calculations or FE simulations of the blast process)

the inow properties required in a LS-DYNA simulation are determined. Then a full 3D Eulerian ow model is established and run,

where the structure to be modelled is assumed rigid. From this

simulation, pressuretime data from a number of points on the

surfaces of the structure is registered and mapped. The mapped

data is nally used as pressuretime curves in a pure Lagrangian

simulation to determine the response of the deforming structure.

By doing this, the initial loading onto the whole structure will be

q

q0

CV

CP

c

E

W

e

L

density of air

initial density of air (atmospheric pressure 1 bar)

specic heat capacity for constant volume

specic heat capacity for constant pressure

CP/CV = 1.4 (air)

total internal energy of air

work

specic internal energy, E/V

length of Euler domain in blast wave propagation direction

simulation is reduced. (3) The Eulerian algorithms may be applied

to have a full coupling between the blast waves and the deformation of the structure. The multi-material Eulerian or ALE capabilities in LS-DYNA make it possible to follow large ows of various

materials without entering into numerical distortion problems

often experienced in Lagrangian formulations. The drawback is

numerical advective (averaging) errors as material uxes between

elements, which means that Eulerian techniques in general require

a ner mesh discretisation than Lagrangian simulations. LS-DYNA

also has an FSI interface, which is the contact formulation between

Eulerian and Lagrangian parts.

Ideally, all blast simulations should be carried out using the

coupled formulation, but this is not practical as the computational

time increases considerably when going from a pure Lagrangian to

a fully coupled EulerianLagrangian simulation. Therefore, a goal

in this study is to investigate if a pure Lagrangian formulation

can be applied in blast loading problems of exible structures or

if more advanced approaches like the coupled EulerianLagrangian

formulation is required for reliable results. This is done by conducting numerical simulations of an unprotected 20 ft ISO container exposed to a blast load of 4000 kg TNT at 120 m standoff

distance using the three approaches presented above. To validate

and discuss the results, the simulated response of the container

is compared to data from a full-scale blast test under such conditions recently presented in Brvik et al. [25,26].

2. Experimental results

Brvik et al. [25,26] presented a new, cost-effective and lightweight protection concept for a 20 ft ISO container to be used in

international operations. The basic idea was to use extruded aluminium panels, which gives a rather cheap, low-weight solution.

These panels may easily and quickly be xed to a container via a

beam system. To increase the ballistic and blast resistance, a local

mass was lled in the empty cavities of the panels on spot. When

required, the mass is just emptied through a hatch beneath the

panels, and the system retains its low mass. Based on a large number of ballistic impact tests, numerical simulations (using a pure

Lagrangian formulation) of the blast load response and full-scale

validation tests, it was concluded that the proposed add-on protection was able to protect a standard 20 ft ISO container against a

number of specied threats.

Two full-scale blast tests involving the container were also carried out in the study. In the rst test, an unprotected container was

tested as a reference. The purpose of this test was to reveal the

amount of damage in an unprotected container exposed to the design blast load. Then a protected container was tested using the

same set-up and loading as in the rst test to demonstrate the effect of the added protection. Here, only results from the test on the

509

unprotected container will be applied in the validation of the simulated response using various FEM-based methods. In the following, some main results will be repeated for completeness. It is

referred to Brvik et al. [26] for a full description of all the experimental details.

The blast tests were performed in the Large Blast Simulator

(LBS) at WTD 52 in Oberjettenberg, Germany, which is the biggest

shock tube in Europe. The driver section of the LBS consists of 100

steel bottles, each with a volume of 384 l, which can be lled with

air to a maximum pressure of 200 bars. The air inside the bottles

can be released simultaneously by blasting steel diaphragms at

the front end. The air then expands and forms a plane blast wave

which hits the test object in the test section situated 40100 m

in front of the driver section. As already stated, the design blast

load corresponds to 4000 kg of TNT detonating at a standoff distance of 120 m. ConWep [11] was used to estimate the pressure

time proles shown in Fig. 1 (both for a wall with dimensions as

for the container and a hemispherical surface burst) and to generate the blast load data given in Tables 1 and 2. Based on these data

the LBS was calibrated by conducting fully instrumented tests

against a rigid concrete wall of 3 3 m2 to give the predicted pressuretime curve. The unprotected container was then aligned in

position 95 m from the blast source with its long side facing the

load, xed to the concrete oor (Fig. 2a) and nally instrumented.

The instrumentation consisted of gauges used to measure reected, side-on and internal pressures at various locations

(Fig. 2b), one deection laser gauge and three different high-speed

cameras used for visualization of the blast load response.

After having lled the steel bottles in the LBS with the calibrated design pressure, the air inside the bottles was released.

The air ow expanded and formed a plane blast wave which propagated towards the container. Due to failure in some gauges during

the test, no data is available for the reected pressure versus time

on the front wall (Pfront__) and for the side-on pressure versus

time on the rear side wall (Prear__). However, it is anticipated

that the incipient blast wave in this test was similar to the corresponding test of the protected container [26]. Fig. 3a gives pressuretime curves in kPa for the three operating pressure gauges,

while Fig. 3b gives the deectiontime curve from the laser deection gauge (S__). The laser gauge saturated about 380 ms after

ring, indicating that the deection was above its range of

400 mm. However, the total deection of the wall was estimated

to 485 mm (and for sure within the range 400500 mm) based

Table 1

Reference data from blast calculations against a rigid wall by ConWep [11].

ConWep calculations: container wall size 6.0 2.5 m2

INPUT:

Charge weight: 4000 kg TNT

Horizontal range: 120.00 m

Table 2

Incident data from hemispherical surface burst calculations by ConWep [11] and used

for calibration of inow properties in Eulerian analysis.

ConWep calculations: hemispherical surface burst

INPUT:

Charge weight: 4000 kg TNT

Horizontal range: 120.00 m

40

Exponential decaying for finite

rigid wall (ConWep, Table 1)

Pressure (kPa)

Pressure (kPa)

50

ConWep for hemispherical surface burst (Table 2)

40

30

rigid wall (Section 3.3.2)

20

10

20

10

0

-10

-10

0.02

0.04

Time (s)

0.06

0.08

(Section 3.3.1)

30

OUTPUT:

Peak incident overpressure: 22.13 kPa

Normally reected overpressure: 48.25 kPa

Time of arrival: 237.9 ms

Positive phase duration: 69.41 ms

Incident impulse: 643.2 kPa ms

Reected impulse: 1270 kPa ms

Shock front velocity: 370.5 m/s

Peak dynamic pressure: 1.668 kPa

Peak particle velocity: 48.63 m/s

Shock density: 1.41 kg/m3

Specic heat ratio: 1.4

on post-test measurements/assumptions and simplied calculations, while the permanent deection was measured to be about

400 mm [26]. These curves were used to generate the data collected in Table 3 about duration, peak pressure and impulse of both

the positive and negative phase of the blast load at different locations. Note that data from the test on a protected container is also

given in parenthesis in Table 3 for comparison.

Fig. 4 shows some pictures of the interaction between the blast

wave and the unprotected container from the high-speed camera

located inside the tunnel. From the pictures it is seen that the front

wall rst deforms globally by the planar blast wave. Then the

deformation changes into localised buckling, causing a plastic

50

OUTPUT:

Peak pressure: 47.36 kPa at X = 0 m and Y = 0 m

Minimum pressure: 47.25 kPa at X = 6 m and

Y = 2.5 m

Total impulse: 11660 N s

Average impulse: 777.4 kPa ms

Equivalent uniform peak pressure: 47.34 kPa

Equivalent uniform impulse: 791.5 kPa ms

Decay coefcient of equivalent uniform pressure

a: 0.05981

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

Time (s)

Fig. 1. (a) Idealized and exponential decaying reected pressuretime prole for a blast of 4000 kg TNT at 120 m standoff distance based on ConWep for a nite rigid wall

(Table 1) compared to the average pressure to the front face wall from a 3D Eulerian simulation and (b) comparison of reected pressuretime curves from ConWep for a

hemispherical surface burst (Table 2) and the one-dimensional uid-ow Eulerian simulation.

510

Fig. 2. (a) Unprotected container mounted inside the LBS before the blast and (b) position of the various pressure and laser gauges used in the test [26].

40

Proof__

Pside__

Pinside

Pfront__

Prear__

Pressure [kPa]

30

20

10

0

-10

0

S__

-50

Deflection [mm]

-20

In this area the laser gauge was outside its working area of 400 mm.

Based on post-test analysis/measurements the maximum deflection

was estimated to 485 mm.

-100

-150

-200

-250

-300

-350

-30

-400

350

400

450

500

550

600

650

350

400

450

Time [ms]

500

550

600

650

Time [ms]

Fig. 3. (a) Pressuretime curves from various pressure gauges and (b) measured deectiontime curve from the laser gauge obtained during the blast test on an unprotected

container [26].

Table 3

Data obtained from the pressure gauges for unprotected container (data for protected container in parenthesis for comparison) [26].

Gauge

(ms)

(kPa)

(kPa ms)

(ms)

(kPa)

(kPa ms)

Pfront__

Pfront_1=4 _

Pside__

Proof__

Prear__

Pinside

(85.0)

(86.0)

64 (65)

65 (67)

(68)

81 (86)

(37.4)

(36.7)

23.4 (23.8)

37.7 (24.0)

(23.8)

22.7 (15.9)

(1204)

(1159)

691 (681)

1156 (713)

(522)

710 (536)

()

()

236 (235)

>235 (164)

(113)

>214

(6.2)

(5.9)

20.4 (19.5)

29.4 (19.2)

(8.6)

8.8 (10.3)

(93)

(129)

1733 (2010)

>2118 (1193)

(531)

486 (>1126)

collapse of the front wall. After that the roof goes down and the

doors go in and out, before the roof rebounds and collapses. The

maximum permanent deformation of the front wall was located

about 1.5 m above the ground and in the centre of the wall as illustrated in Fig. 5a. The upper horizontal beam on the front side

received a plastic deformation downwards of about 110 mm and

inwards of 60 mm. The upper beam on the rear side received a

plastic, horizontal deformation of 40 mm inwards. Fig. 5b shows

a picture of the inside of the container after the blast. The roof

had a permanent plastic deformation upwards of about 300 mm.

Fracture was not observed in any parts of the container after the

test, even though some parts were considerably plastically deformed. In any case, one main conclusion from this test was that

an unprotected container will be severely damaged by the prescribed blast load, and will not operate satisfactory afterwards. It

should nally be mentioned that when the container was protected with the proposed aluminium panels, no such damage

was observed in the front wall after the blast [26].

Three numerical models with increasing level of complexity and

expected accuracy concerning the blast load description are investigated. The aim is to generate a reference basis which can be used

for engineering design of blast loaded structures. The Lagrangian

model of the 20 ft ISO container, that forms the basis for all simulations, is described in Section 3.1. All simulations are carried out

using the explicit solver of the non-linear nite element code LSDYNA [13].

511

Fig. 4. Pictures from the high-speed camera located inside the tunnel showing the interaction between the blast wave and the unprotected container [26].

Fig. 5. (a) Front side wall and (b) inside of unprotected container after the blast [26].

The rst model for blast loading description is a pure Lagrangian approach, Section 3.2, where we apply a predened pressure

time load from ConWep [11] calculations to all nodes of the frontal

(blast loaded) face of the container. In the second approach we use

an uncoupled EulerianLagrangian approach. This is described in

Section 3.3. Here, a 3D computational uid dynamics (CFD) model

provides pressuretime curves for all faces of a rigid container.

These curves are then mapped and used to load the container on

all faces in a subsequent Lagrangian simulation, in the same way

as in Section 3.2 for only the front face. In Section 3.4 a fully coupled EulerianLagrangian simulation is carried out, i.e. the blast

loading is transferred from the air ow to the structure by a

uidstructure interface (FSI).

To describe the loading in this study, ConWep was used to calculate the equivalent uniform peak pressure and impulse from a

charge weight of 4000 kg TNT detonating at a standoff distance

of 120 m towards a nite rigid (or close to rigid) wall with dimensions equal to the front face of the container (Table 1). In a similar

way as in Brvik et al. [25], we idealize the loadtime curve from

ConWep calculations to a linear relationship for the pure Lagrangian analyses in Section 3.2, see Fig. 1a. This approach is reasonable

if the loading is completed before the maximum deformation of

the container is reached, an assumption often used in design. In

Fig. 1a the idealized loadtime curve is compared to the exponential decreasing curve using the decay coefcient stated in Table 1.

ConWep was also used to provide incident and reected impulses,

peak pressure, particle velocity and duration of loading as listed in

Table 2 for a hemispherical surface burst against an innite rigid

surface. The reected loadtime curve from this calculation is plotted in Fig. 1b. Such information is required to calibrate the inow

properties in an EulerianLagrangian simulation. It should at this

point be mentioned that the estimated impulse by ConWep against

the container is underestimated, while the peak pressure is somewhat overpredicted compared to the experimental data. This will

be further discussed in Section 4.

For the simulations in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 we also study the effect of internal air-pressure in the container. The inner pressure

was described by a control volume approach in the Lagrangian

and uncoupled EulerianLagrangian models. The pressure buildup was then estimated as for an ideal gas with c = 1.4. For the fully

coupled simulation in Section 3.4, the inner air-pressure build-up

is automatically present in the simulation due to the FSI. However,

in this model we studied the effect of inner pressure by introducing

venting from the container. Table 4 shows the simulation programme with cross-reference to the section where the models

are presented.

512

Table 4

Simulation program.

Run

Description

Sections

1a

1b

2

3

4

5

6

Lagrangian, no inner pressure, exponential decay

Lagrangian, with inner pressure, linear decay

Uncoupled EulerianLagrangian, no inner pressure

Uncoupled EulerianLagrangian, with inner pressure

Coupled EulerianLagrangian

Coupled EulerianLagrangian with venting

3.2

3.2

3.2

3.3

3.3

3.4

3.4

The geometrical model of the standard 20 ft ISO container (with

external dimensions of about L B H = 6 2.5 2.5 m3) has earlier been described in some detail by Brvik et al. [25], and it follows in large part the geometrical specications for a real

container. The model consists of the main faces (4 walls + roof)

made of corrugated steel panels. The corrugated panels are connected to a top rectangular frame made of hollow steel sections.

The oor of the container is made up of two main bottom rails with

18 transverse beams and a thin steel plate on top. The edges of the

container are given by four columns which are connected to the

corrugated panels and the oor.

All parts are modelled by the Belytschko-Tsay shell element

type in LS-DYNA [13] with two integration points through the

thickness of the shell. A tied-contact interface was used to connect

the different parts. This means that there is no nodal sharing between the different part numbers. According to the technical specications of the container, all parts are made from anti-corrosive

steels with a minimum yield stress of 355 MPa and a tensile

strength of 500 MPa (i.e. modest strain hardening). The material

behaviour during blast loading was modelled as elastic-plastic

density q 7850 kg=m3 , Youngs modulus E = 210,000 MPa, Poissons ratio m = 0.3, yield stress r0:2 355 MPa and a tangential

hardening Et 1000 MPa [25]. The possible effect of strain rate

hardening of the material was neglected, since simulations showed

that the strain rate during blast loading was in general small and

below 100 s1 . This is also a conservative estimate, since no additional target strength giving a reduced container deection is

added due to the increased strain rate.

For all numerical studies we apply mass damping at the end of

the simulation to obtain the nal, deformed shape of the container.

The element mesh density used in the container model was higher

than that used by Brvik et al. [25], see also Section 3.5.1. They

used an element side length of approximately 25 mm, while the

current study is based on an element side length of 10 mm. This

was done to better describe localised buckling of the corrugated

plates. Using this mesh size, the container model consisted of

approximately 620,000 shell elements. Plots of the numerical model of the container to illustrate the mesh density are given in Fig. 6.

3.2. Lagrangian approach

All nodes in the numerical model of the front face of the container, see Fig. 7a, are given the idealized ConWep pressuretime

curve specied by Fig. 1. Both linearly (Run 1a, Table 4) and exponentially decaying loads (Run1b, Table 4) are investigated for the

case of no inner pressure. The displacement-time curves of Runs

12 (without and with inner container pressure see Table 4)

are given in Fig. 15. Note that a 2025% decrease in deection is

obtained if the air inside the container is modelled. Also, note that

there is a signicant difference between Run 1a and Run 1b even if

the total impulse is the same, i.e. the shape of the pressuretime

curve plays a signicant role for the displacementtime curve in

Fig. 6. (a) Numerical model of container and (b) corner detail after blast simulation (Run 3) to show the mesh density and localised buckling of the corrugated plates.

Fig. 7. Pure Lagrangian approach; (a) nodal loads on front face only and (b) nal shape of the container after loading.

513

these simulations. This is due to that the loading must be considered as dynamic and not impulsive. If the simulated nal shape

of the front wall of the container facing the blast (Fig. 7b) is compared to a picture taken after the corresponding test (Fig. 5a), the

qualitative agreement using this approach (linearly decaying load)

is found to be good. However, since only the Lagrangian solver was

used, the buckling of the roof was not obtained (as also discussed

in [26]). This simulation (up to 0.1 s) typically took 5 CPU-hours

running on a single AMD dual-core 2.2 GHz processor on a Linux

cluster.

where c is the speed of sound. For the full Eulerian reference frame

used in Step 2 we must take into account reections from the sides

and rear side, hence the dimensions as given by Fig. 8. L = 13 m was

used for the current simulations.

For the inow side we know (from ConWep) the pressuretime

history given by p(t). For LS-DYNA we need to specify the internal

variables (relative volume vr and relative temperature Tr) of the inow which corresponds to this pressuretime history. Assuming

adiabatic conditions this can be done by using the following formulas (see Appendix A for details)

v r t

different simulation steps. The required input is incident blast

loading characteristic from ConWep [11] or similar, see Table 2.

Note that the following description of the general nite element

aspects of the uid-ow model is the same as for the fully coupled

model that will be presented in Section 3.4.

is current pressure, T0 is initial temperature, T is current temperature, and c is the ratio of specic heat capacities.

The nodal velocitytime curve v(t) of the inow part must now

be prescribed. We have done this by trial and error (by running

simulations iteratively) with the incident particle velocity of Table

2 as a known value. The correct velocitytime relationship is the

one that gives a pressure pulse that does not distort as it propagates towards the container, see sketch of Fig. 9. We base the initial, peak particle velocity on the ConWep estimate in Table 2.

Fig. 10 shows normalised volume and temperature as function

of time as well as the prescribed nodal velocity of the calibrated

model. This ensures a proper non-distorted pressuretime prole,

see data from LS-DYNA simulation in Fig. 11 (note the arrival of the

reected wave in Element 140 this is after the relevant part of

loading of 0.1 s). The air was then represented by the material

*

MAT_NULL in LS-DYNA using an initial density of 1.2 kg/m3 at

1 bar = 100 kPa initial pressure. The ideal gas law was represented

by *EOS_IDEAL_GAS using CV = 719 J/kg K, CP = 1007 J/kg K and an

initial temperature of 293 K. The reected pressuretime curve

from the reaction end based on this simulation is plotted in

Fig. 1b, where it is compared to the pressuretime prole from

We need to calibrate the numerical model of the air ow so that

the incoming pressuretime history matches that of the ConWep

data in Table 2. In principle, this means that the boundary conditions on the inow side of our Eulerian domain must be chosen

to match the desired incident pressuretime history. The timedependent parameters in LS-DYNA for the inow boundary are

two internal variables controlling the gas behaviour, which in

our case are the relative volume vr and the relative temperature

Tr, as well as the particle velocity v.

The inow properties were calibrated by considering a onedimensional representation of the gas (one string of brick elements), see Figs. 8 and 9, which is divided into one inow part

and one part representing the main volume. The length L is approximated by the time of duration of the blast loading Dt, i.e. L c Dt

1=c

Vt

p0

;

V0

pt

T r t

Tt

T0

V0

Vt

Gas inflow with

relevant boundary

conditions

Container

One-dimensional Eulerian reference frame

L/2

Element 140

Reaction end

5m

Direction of propagation

p (t ), v(t )

p+(t-t*) = p+(t)

p+(t)

Incoming impulse:

t

t*

Fig. 9. Undistorted incoming pressure pulse. The element reference is used in Fig. 11.

c1

1

514

1.1

50

Tr

40

20

0.9

vr

v

(m/s)

T r , vr

30

10

0.8

0

0

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

0.1

Time (s)

Fig. 10. Inow properties: normalised volume and temperature and plot of

absolute nodal velocity.

130

E190

E140

Pressure (kPa)

120

110

100

Fig. 13. Sampling of pressure on container surface during 3D Euler simulation.

90

80

0

0.04

0.08

0.12

0.16

Time (s)

Fig. 11. Pressuretime at inow Element 190 compared to Element 140 (5 m

downstream).

seen excellent and indicates that our use of the inow data has

been reasonable.

3.3.2. Step 2 full 3D Eulerian phase

In this step we generate a 3D Eulerian model of the air around a

rigid container volume, see Fig. 12. The model is divided into two

parts, one small inow part and one part comprising the main volume, as was done for the one-dimensional model described in Section 3.3.1. The 1D ow model was a string of 200 solid elements in

the direction of wave propagation, while the 3D model contains

nearly 2 million solid elements. On this model we apply exactly

the same inow conditions as for the 1D ow model (Step 1). On

each face of the surface of the container volume we sample pressuretime data for 8 8 evenly spaced points, see Fig. 13. The container part of the model in Fig. 12 is simply a restriction on the

uid-ow domain where we apply boundary conditions to prevent

uid ow in the normal direction of the container. The computational time for Step 2 was about 0:15 CPU-hours on a single

AMD dual-core 2.2 GHz processor.

3.3.3. Step 3 Lagrangian analysis

For the nal Lagrangian analysis in Step 3 it is pragmatic to use

pressure loading by parts, i.e. we average all the sampled pressure

the main container faces, namely the front, rear, top and end sides

of the container (Fig. 14). The gure also shows the resulting average curves for use with the structural analysis based on the outcome of the 3D Eulerian simulation in Step 2. The average

pressure curve on the front face of the nite rigid wall is compared

to similar curves from ConWep calculations in Fig. 1a. It is again

seen that the agreement between curves from ConWep and the

curve from the full 3D Eulerian simulation is good. Obtained

displacement-time curves of Runs 34 (both without and with

inner container pressure see Table 4) are given in Fig. 15. In a

similar way as for the Lagrange simulation in Section 3.2, this

simulation (up to 0.1 s) typically took 5 CPU-hours running on a

single AMD dual-core 2.2 GHz processor on a Linux cluster.

3.4. Coupled EulerianLagrangian approach

The full 3D Eulerian reference frame was divided into nearly 2

million elements. Inow properties as indicated in Fig. 8 are as described in Step 1, Section 3.3.1. The penalty based uidstructure

interaction algorithm *CONSTRAINED_LAGRANGE_IN_SOLID was

used to model contact between the blast load and the deforming

container.

The obtained displacement-time curve of Run 5 (see Table 4) is

given in Fig. 15. In Run 6 we introduced venting from the container.

The results from Run 5 and Run 6 were practically equal up to the

initial peak deformation, and Run 6 is therefore not included in

Fig. 15. The venting was modelled by removing the FSI from the

rear corrugated panel of the container. These simulations (up to

0.1 s) took about 70 CPU-hours on 8 AMD 2.2 GHz processors on

a Linux cluster. Compared with the pure Lagrangian simulation,

the computational time for the fully coupled simulations was increased by a factor of more than 100.

515

60

ConWep

Pressure (kPa)

40

Front

Rear

Side

20

Top

-20

0

0.01

0.02

0.03

0.04

0.05

Time (s)

Fig. 14. Average pressure curves applied to main faces of container compared to triangular pressure pulse from ConWep.

0.6

-0.2

Measured data

Lagrangian, no inner pressure (exponential decay)

-0.4

-0.6

Lagrangian, no inner pressure (linear decay)

-0.8

0

0.1

0.2

Time (s)

0.3

0.4

Fig. 15. Displacement of the centre of the front wall of the container as function of

time. Note that the dotted part of the measured data curve is estimated since the

laser gauge saturated in this area during the test.

0.2

0.4

0.2

0

0

10000

20000

30000

40000

50000

Fig. 16. Mesh density convergence study.

3.5.1. Mesh sensitivity

The simulation results reported in Sections 3.23.4 were carried

out using an element side length of 10 mm for all corrugated parts

of the container. Fig. 16 shows a mesh sensitivity study on Run 3

(uncoupled EulerLagrange, no inner pressure), using element side

lengths of 25 mm, 13 mm, 10 mm and 5 mm. Only the mesh density of the front panel was varied in these simulations, while all

other parts had a constant element side length of 25 mm. A result

using the FE model with an element side length equal to 10 mm for

all panel parts is also shown for comparison. In practice, the results

seem to have converged for the 10 mm element side length. A plot

of the container model both before and after blast loading revealing the mesh density is given in Fig. 6. The deformation pattern

at the centre of the front panel is as seen local buckling. This means

that some small variations in the maximum displacement as function of mesh density must be expected due to the mesh dependency of the exact location of the buckling lobes.

3.5.2. Blast wall response one-dimensional study

It is evident from Fig. 15 that the fully coupled Eulerian

Lagrangian approach gives considerable less structural response

in particular to the pure Lagrangian solution. For the uncoupled approach we have obtained pressuretime curves from Step 2, Section 3.3.2, using a completely rigid container volume. This means

that the reected pressure relates to a blast wave reecting from

a stationary, non-moving container surface. In the fully coupled

simulation, the reected pressure will be inuenced by the movement of the deformable container surface. We have done a study

using the one-dimensional model presented in Section 3.3.1 to

illustrate the inuence of exible blast loaded surfaces on the magnitude of the reected impulse. On this simple model we varied the

velocity conditions on the reaction end, which is opposite of the inow end (see Fig. 9). We conducted 4 simulations using reaction

end velocities of 0, 1, 5 and 10 m/s in the blast loading inow direction. As seen from Fig. 17, the reaction end velocity has a major

inuence on the reected impulse. From the fully coupled simulation we have an average front wall velocity of at least 10 m/s until

maximum response is gained. In the one-dimensional model this

reduces the reected impulse by 23%. This is a clear indication

for why the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian simulation gives

much less maximum response compared to the other modelling

approaches.

516

1.6

0 m/s

1.2

1 m/s

5 m/s

10 m/s

0.8

0.4

0

0

0.04

0.08

0.12

0.16

Time (s)

study).

Table 5

Maximum response from stiffer container.

Model

Lagrangian, linear decay

Uncoupled EulerianLagrangian

Coupled EulerianLagrangian

It has been stated that the computational time increases by a

factor of more than 100 when going from a pure Lagrangian approach to a fully coupled EulerianLagrangian approach. For the

uncoupled EulerianLagrangian approach the CPU-time is similar

to the Lagrangian approach, but several modelling and simulation

steps are now required. It should nally be noticed that the method used to determine the inow properties to LS-DYNA as described in Section 3.3.1 also are required for the fully coupled

approach. Thus, it is quite clear that both the uncoupled and in particular the fully coupled approaches are considerably more time

consuming than the pure Lagrangian approach. Another important

recognition is that it is hardly possible to run the fully coupled simulation on a standard computer (using a single processor), and that

massive parallel processing (MPP) using a cluster or a supercomputer is almost always required.

Original

container

Increased container

wall thickness

Normalised

max. displ.

1

0.65

0.22

Normalised

max. displ.

1

0.60

0.57

Normalised

impulse

1

0.65

Considering the results of the one-dimensional model in Section

3.5.2, it is natural to assume that a stiffer container will lead to less

difference between the three computational models since the

velocity of a stiff container wall during blast loading is reduced.

We have redone the simulations by doubling the wall thickness

of the main faces consisting of corrugated panels (from 2 mm to

4 mm). The new, normalised peak displacements from all models

are compared in Table 5. As seen, the coupled and the uncoupled

EulerianLagrangian analyses now give almost the same peak displacement. However, the pure Lagrangian approach (Run 1a) is still

giving larger deformations compared to the other methods. This is

mainly due to the differences in impulse loading depicted in

Fig. 14. The pure Lagrangian simulation reaches the maximum displacement at approximately time t = 0.020 s in Fig. 14, whereas the

uncoupled EulerianLagrangian model has the maximum for time

t = 0.017 s (i.e. before the loading is over so it must be considered

as dynamic and not impulsive). The corresponding ratio between

pressure impulses on the container wall at the time of maximum

displacement is 0.65. The ratio of impulses (0.65) closely matches

the ratio of maximum displacement of the front wall centre (0.60),

which is plausible since the material behaviour of the stiffer container walls is almost elastic.

We have shown that the uncoupled EulerianLagrangian approach and the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian model give the

same response for a container with increased stiffness, Section

3.5.3. Also, for a more exible container, the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian approach was found to give less maximum deformation compared to the uncoupled approach. The exercise on

the stiffened container therefore indicates that (1) the FSI functions

seems to work satisfactorily and (2) the structural exibility reduces the pressure impulse and thus reduces the nal magnitude

of the structural response in a fully coupled EulerianLagrangian

simulation. In other words, for exible structures an uncoupled

EulerianLagrangian approach (where the load is applied directly

to the nodes of the blast loaded surfaces) will give too large pressure loads. The exercises in Section 3.5.3 showed why the pure

Lagrangian approach gives larger structural response than the

other approaches. It also demonstrated that the Lagrangian and

uncoupled EulerianLagrangian elastic responses were similar

when comparing normalised maximum structural response with

corresponding normalised impulse loads.

This demonstrates that the difference in response between the

models is fully explainable and that it is the load specication for

rigid versus exible structures itself that mainly creates this difference (i.e. based directly on ConWep [11] or an initial 3D CFD analysis). By comparing Fig. 1 with Fig. 14, we see that ConWeps

triangular pressure loading used for the Lagrangian simulations

with linearly decaying load in fact is bound between an upper

curve, which is the reected pressure based on the one-dimensional CFD analysis (Fig. 1) and a corresponding lower pressure

curve based on the three dimensional CFD analysis (Fig. 14 front).

This observation appears to be reasonable and shows that it is not

correct to use this pressure load directly in a pure Lagrangian approach for exible structures, nor is it correct to apply pressure

loads found from a 3D uncoupled EulerianLagrangian simulation

of the uid ow against a rigid body to a subsequent structural

analysis on a deforming body.

3.5.4. Effect of multiple surface loading

A nal study was done by using the uncoupled Eulerian

Lagrangian model (i.e. Run 3 in Table 4), but removing the pressure

loading on the sides, rear and roof. That is, we only applied loading

to the front wall of the container (as for the pure Lagrangian simulation). The study was done using the original wall thickness of

the container. The results showed that by loading only the frontal

face reduced the peak displacements by 10%, i.e. from originally

505 mm to 456 mm.

from ConWep calculations (see Fig. 1, Tables 1 and 2). In the following, results from these simulations will be compared to the experimental observations presented in Section 2 from the full-scale blast

test on an unprotected container. It should at this point be mentioned that instead of using inow properties from ConWep, the

explosion process itself could have been modelled (as done in, e.g.

[1820]). However, this has not been done in the present study

tests presented in [26].

Fig. 15 shows maximum displacementtime curves of the front

wall as predicted by the various FE approaches. As already seen,

considerable variations in predicted results between the applied

methods are present. The measured displacementtime curve

(Fig. 3b) is also included in the gure for comparison (where also

the estimate maximum displacement is shown as the dotted part

of the curve). It is found that the uncoupled EulerianLagrangian

approach without inner pressure in the container gives the best

t to the estimated maximum response, while the permanent displacement is far off (indicating outwards instead of inwards permanent deection). The pure Lagrangian approaches with inner

pressure (linearly decaying pressure) in the container and without

inner pressure (exponentially decaying pressure) both seem to describe the permanent displacement of the front wall quite well, but

they overestimates the maximum displacement. This approach

without inner pressure (linear decaying pressure) overestimates

the response the most. The latter methodology was used in [25]

517

also the mesh sensitivity study in Fig. 16). Note further that the

Lagrangian simulations seem to give conservative results, while

non-conservative results are in general obtained using the other

approaches. Especially the fully coupled model seems to underestimate the structural response signicantly. This is further illustrated in Fig. 18, showing plots of the deformed shapes of the

container from simulations applying the various FE methods. If

these shapes are compared to the pictures taken by the high-speed

camera during the test (Fig. 4), quantitative agreement is only

found for the Lagrangian solution. For the EulerianLagrangian approaches, where also the roof and the sidewalls were loaded, the

deections are in general too small. None of the applied methods

are able to describe the outwards buckling of the roof seen

experimentally.

That a simple Lagrangian model combined with ConWep calculations quantitatively seems to give better results than the fully

coupled approach is in line with the conclusions of, e.g. Mullin

and OToole [17]. However, one reason for the large variation in

Fig. 18. Plots of deformed shape of container (with inner pressure) versus time during blast load from simulations applying various FEM methods.

60

Head-on pressure

(front side)

Head-on pressure

(rear side)

Curve from ConWep

(infinite rigid wall)

Curve from ConWep

(idealised - finite rigid wall)

Pressure (kPa)

40

20

60

(Calbration test)

Head-on pressure Pfront__

(Protected container test)

40

Pressure (kPa)

518

20

(infinite rigid wall)

Curve from ConWep

(idealised - finite rigid wall)

-20

-20

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Time (ms)

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

Time (ms)

Fig. 19. Reected pressuretime proles from ConWep compared with measured pressuretime curves from the calibration test, from the protected container test [26] and

from the one-dimensional Eulerian simulation.

Fig. 20. Plots of deformed shape of container versus time during blast load from simulations with a fully coupled EulerianLagrangian approach and increased impulse.

predicted results between the applied methods has been found due

to the load specication for rigid versus exible structures, and in

previous sections it was concluded that it is not correct to use a

pressure load estimate for a rigid wall in response calculations of

exible structures. Other explanations for the deviation between

the approach with the highest expected accuracy and the experimental results may be the simplied material description used in

the simulations or an imprecise description of the blast load by

ConWep compared to the actual one measured in the test. To check

these possibilities, some new simulations were carried out using

the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian approach.

First, a simulation was carried out to examine the sensitivity of

the structural response due to variations in applied material properties. This was done by reducing the tangential hardening to

Et 100 MPa, i.e. a rather distinct reduction in strain hardening

of the steel material in the container. With such a reduction in

strain hardening the maximum response in the front wall increased to 185 mm, which is less than a 10% increase compared

to the simulation using Et 1000 MPa. Thus, this cannot explain

the large deviation obtained between the fully coupled Eulerian

Lagrangian simulation and the blast test results.

Secondly, Fig. 19a shows reected pressuretime curves from

ConWep for a blast load of 4000 kg TNT at 120 m standoff distance

(both for a nite and an innite rigid wall). Unfortunately, the gauge

supposed to measure the reected pressure versus time on the front

wall in the actual test failed during the test so no data is available.

Therefore, the curves from ConWep are compared with measured

pressuretime curves from the calibration test (using a rigid concrete wall) and from the protected container test (using a wall of extruded aluminium panels to protect the front wall of the container)

in Fig. 19a. These tests are described in more detail in [26]. At rst

sight, the agreement seems to be reasonable (especially for the

Fig. 19b) reveals major differences between them. The difference

in reected impulse is more than doubled between the calibration

test and the idealized curve from ConWep used in the Lagrange

calculations. To check this effect, a nal simulation on the unprotected container was run with the fully coupled model where the

incoming pressuretime curve was doubled, i.e. doubling the incident impulse. Note that in this simulation, using the unprotected

container, the front wall is more exible than in the tests plotted

in Fig. 19.

The obtained maximum displacementtime curve of the front

wall from this simulation is plotted in Fig. 15 where it is compared to the experimental results and the other approaches. As

seen, by doubling the impulse the maximum displacement increases to about 500 mm and the response becomes similar to

the measured data. The deformed shape of the container versus

time from this simulation is plotted in Fig. 20. Now the upwards

buckling of the roof and the movement of the sidewalls become

well described (see also Fig. 4). Thus, both the quantitative and

qualitative response of the container is in good agreement with

the experimental data when the impulse is doubled. Note nally

that if this loading is applied in the pure Lagrange simulation,

the blast load response of the container would become far too

large.

The above exercise revealed that it is difcult to base the design

of blast loaded structures on ConWep calculations alone, because

the load description may be too imprecise for complex problems.

Thus, even though more costly it seems necessary to run fully coupled EulerianLagrangian simulations. The study also shows that

full-scale blast tests on exible structures are difcult to control

and instrument, and that more full-scale test results are required

in order to validate FEM-based blast simulations.

519

5. Conclusions

dW pdV c 1edV

properties in uncoupled and fully coupled EulerianLagrangian

LS-DYNA simulations of blast loaded structures. The inow properties are assumed planar and calibrated based on output data from a

hemispherical surface burst of 4000 kg TNT at 120 m standoff distance by ConWep [11]. The structural responses based on the

uncoupled or coupled EulerianLagrangian approaches were found

to be less compared to a pure Lagrangian simulation with a pressure load provided by ConWep based on corresponding nite rigid

wall reected pressures. It was demonstrated that structural exibility reduces the pressure loads and thus the structural response.

Care must therefore be taken when applying pressure loads originating from rigid or stationary references to exible structures as

the response will be overestimated. However, in the case of exible

containers the application of a too high pressure loading leads to a

conservative design. Pressuretime proles from ConWep calculations both for a nite and an innite rigid wall have been compared

to corresponding curves from FE simulations, and the agreement is

found to be excellent. This indicates that both our approach and

ConWep give a good description of the reected pressuretime

prole for the specied loading against rigid surfaces.

The effect of inner pressure build up in a non-vented container

is signicant for large volumetric deformations and was found to

reduce the structural response of the Lagrangian simulation by almost 25%. This effect is inherent and thus directly accounted for in

the fully coupled EulerianLagrangian model. It was also shown

that the shape of the pressuretime prole plays a signicant role

for the displacementtime curve in these simulations, where the

loading should be considered as dynamic and not impulsive.

When compared to available full-scale experimental test data

on a blast loaded unprotected container, the Lagrangian approach

seemed to give better results than the fully coupled Eulerian

Lagrangian approach when the design blast load was solely based

on ConWep calculations. However, the test data revealed that the

actual blast load was higher than the one assumed in the simulations. If the reected impulse was doubled, both the quantitative

and qualitative response of the container was found to be in good

agreement with the experimental data using the fully coupled approach. This shows that it is difcult to base the design of exible

blast loaded structures on ConWep calculations alone and that

more full-scale experimental tests are required in order to validate

FEM-based blast simulations.

Acknowledgement

The nancial support of this work from the Structural Impact

Laboratory (SIMLab), Centre for Research-based Innovation (CRI)

at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU),

is gratefully acknowledged.

Appendix A. Inow properties for Eulerian analyses

For our system of air we consider a given volume V and a given

total internal energy E.

The specic internal energy e per volume is then

e qC V T E=V

A1

p qC P C V T

CP

1 qC V T c 1e

CV

A2

the gas

dE dW pdV

A3

A4

E

de

E

1 dE

d 1

dE 1

E

)

d

E

V

dV

V

V dV

dV V

dV V V 2

A5

de dE 1

E

pdV 1 E 1

1

1

p e ce

dV dV V V 2

dV V V V

V

V

A6

c

de

dV

e

V0

c

)

e

V

e0

V

A7

p0

V0

V

c

()

1=c

V

p0

V0

p

A8

q q0

V0

V

A9

V0

C P C V T

p qC P C V T q0

V

c

c

V0

V0

p p0

q0 C P C V T 0

V

V

A10a

A10b

T0

V0

V

c1

A11

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