BlastWall: An Integrated Wall and Window Retrofit System
Exterior wall infill panels of non-loadbearing masonry, often with window openings, are commonly used in buildings around the world. While the structural frame may possess a good level of resistance to explosion loading the masonry wall panels are often relatively weak and liable to sudden, brittle failure when subjected to blast loads with the result that hazardous debris is thrown into the interior of the building. Blast resistant windows can be set into openings in the masonry wall panels; however failure of the wall may occur at a lower load than that against which the window would survive if it was adequately supported. The BlastWall research project was carried out by a consortium of industry partners and research institutions with the aim of developing a practical integrated wall and window retrofit system to mitigate the hazards to building occupants and critical equipment from the failure of masonry wall infill panels under external blast loading. Utilising elements of Tecdur® technology, the BlastWall system proved successful under loading at EXV15, with since-proven potential for even higher performance. The system is supported by a software tool that allows its components to be tailored to suit a wide range of existing materials, dimensions and loading conditions. This paper describes the project objectives, the BlastWall system and its components, including the software tool, and the trials carried during system development resulting in overall proof of concept.
Ezio Cadoni and Marco di Prisco
D. Hadden et al., "BlastWall: An Integrated Wall and Window Retrofit System", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 82, pp. 473-478, 2011