Computational Mechanics and Design Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Blast wave clearing and dynamic response of finite-sized targets


For finite-sized targets, the presence of target edges is known to significantly alter the blast pressure acting on the loaded face in a process known as clearing – diffraction of the blast wave around the target which causes a relief wave to sweep in from the edges of the reflecting surface. This project has extended previous studies at UoS’s Blast & Impact laboratory, to confirm a model of this clearing effect, offering a significantly improved approach to simplified blast load prediction. The Single-degree-of-freedom method is used to model target response, with the spatially varying blast pressure transformed into a single point equivalent.

The combined improvements to both load prediction and response modelling has allowed a full parametric study to be conducted on finite-sized targets subjected to blast loads. Findings from this project highlight the complex nature of blast-target interaction, particularly when blast wave clearing is concerned. Results presented in the study can also be used by practicing engineers to determine the likely effect that blast wave clearing will have on any configuration of explosive mass, stand-off, target size and dynamic properties.



Project dates

Start date: 
January 2010


MatLab script for generating LS-DYNA mesh file for spherical expansion of a blast wave

When modelling explosive detonations and blast wave propagation it is important that material movement is aligned with the elements. If a spherical charge is modelled in a rectangular mesh, an advection error is introduced. By modelling the blast wave in a radially symmetric mesh, this problem can be avoided. This...


(2013). Clearing effects on plates subjected to blast loads. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Engineering and Computational Mechanics, 166 (3), pp. 140-148. (Full Text).
(2011). Clearing of blast waves on finite-sized targets - An overlooked approach. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 82 (3), pp. 669-674. (Full Text).