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International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

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International Journal of Impact Engineering


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

The inuence of boundary conditions on the loading of rectangular plates


subjected to localised blast loading Importance in numerical simulations
D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick*
Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU), Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 14 November 2007
Received in revised form 3 March 2008
Accepted 3 March 2008
Available online 15 May 2008

A series of localised blast loading experiments are performed in order to understand how the experimental set-up inuences the impulse imparted to a plate. The imparted impulse is measured using
a ballistic pendulum. The experimental results show that for both rigid and deformable plates the impulse measured by a ballistic pendulum increases as the height of the boundary (clamps) increases.
Signicantly, it is found that although the measured impulse varies as a function of the boundary height,
the plate deformation is unchanged. This suggests that not all of the impulse measured by the ballistic
pendulum resulted in plate deformation. Therefore, in numerical and analytical modelling, the total
impulse from the ballistic pendulum should not simply be applied as a centrally localised pressure load.
Numerical simulations of localised blast loading in combination with the aforementioned experimental
results are used to develop a localised blast loading model. The loading model is a simplied pressure
loading model which only imparts the deformation causing impulse as opposed to the total ballistic
pendulum impulse. The model is validated using an independent set of localised blast load experiments
on clamped mild steel plates. Results obtained using a published localised blast load model are also
compared.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Localised blast load
Impulse transfer
ABAQUS
AUTODYN
Simulation validation

\1.

Introduction

Traditionally, in numerical modelling, a localised blast load has


been represented by a constant pressure load acting over an area
equivalent to the charge or burn diameter [14]. Under the assumption of impulsive loading, the pressure is applied over a short
duration which is usually taken as the time it takes a detonation
wave to travel the length of the charge. This simple method has
been used with various levels of success to predict the deformation
and failure of locally (and uniformly) blast loaded plates.
A variation of this method was presented by Bimha [5] (see
Section 3.4) where the blast load was represented by a constant
pressure acting over the charge area with the pressure decaying to
the edge of the plate. Based on comparison with experimental plate
deection proles the decay constant was found for variations in
charge radius as a function of plate radius/width. In a further variation of this method, Balden and Nurick [6] used the program
AUTODYN [7] to obtain a pressure prole for a localised blast load.
The pressure prole was based on the prole of maximum pressure
obtained from the simulations. The pressure magnitude for the
prole was adjusted so that the applied impulse corresponded with
the measured experimental ballistic pendulum impulse.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 27 21 6503234; fax: 27 21 6503240.


E-mail address: gerald.nurick@uct.ac.za (G.N. Nurick).
0734-743X/$ see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2008.03.003

The preceding localised blast load models use the measured


ballistic pendulum impulse to determine the magnitude of the
pressure prole. This ensures that the total measured experimental
impulse is applied impulsively to the plate in the form of a pressure
load. These methods assume that the total impulse measured by
the ballistic pendulum is transferred to the plate as a centrally
localised load. The focus of this paper is to investigate this assumption in order to determine the proportion of the measured
ballistic pendulum impulse responsible for plate deformation. The
results of this investigation are used to develop a localised blast
load model. The loading model is used in a nite element model of
clamped rectangular plates subjected to localised blast loading. A
comparison of the nite element results with an independent set of
experiments on clamped rectangular plates provides a validation of
the loading model.
An alternative is to model the explosive using a program such as
AUTODYN [7] which uses an Eulerian mesh for the explosive and air
and the JonesWilkinsLee (JWL) equation of state [8] for the
explosive. If the experimental set-up including the clamping
arrangement is modelled (Fig. 1), then a priori knowledge of how
the impulse is imparted to the plate is not required. The geometry
in the simulation will allow any physical phenomena to be reproduced and the impulse will be imparted as in the experiment. Axisymmetric or 3-dimensional models can be used but 3-dimensional
models greatly increase the computational expense. Experiments
such as rectangular plate experiments cannot be reduced to

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

41

Nomenclature

3_ P
s
3p
I*(r,m)
m
P
T
tb

equivalent plastic strain rate


material stress
equivalent plastic strain
impulse density prole as
function of radius and charge mass
charge mass including 1 g leader
pressure
temperature
burn time

axi-symmetric models and therefore, for practical reasons, developing a simple validated pressure loading model is advantageous.
The paper begins by describing an experimental investigation
to determine the effect of the presence of clamps (boundaries)
and clamp height on both rigid and deformable plates for
localised blast loading. The rigid plate tests are used to determine the effect of clamping arrangement on impulse transfer
as measured by a ballistic pendulum. The effect of the varying
impulse transfer is subsequently investigated in terms of plate
deformation. Axi-symmetric numerical simulation results from
AUTODYN are used to develop a pressure loading model which
is applied to rectangular plates and compared with an independent set of experiments. The results of the investigation
into the effect of the clamping arrangement are incorporated in
the loading model. The results of the proposed loading model
are compared with the results obtained using a published [5]
localised loading model.

Fig. 1. Photograph showing the experimental set-up of a typical clamped plate


subjected to localised blast loading.

2. Blast loading prole


2.1. Localised blast load experimental investigation
A series of experiments are performed in order to gain further
insight into localised blast loading of rectangular plates. The experiments are as follows:

Fig. 2. Quarter-symmetry diagrams showing the rigid and deformable plate layouts used to determine the effect of clamp height for a constant charge mass. The quarter disc above
the plate is the explosive at a stand-off of 13 mm.

42

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

Fig. 3. Photograph showing the ground side and the post-blast deformed machined side of a deformable plate.

Rigid plate tests


To determine the effect of the boundary height (clamp
height) on the impulse transferred for a given charge mass.
To determine the impulse transferred to the exposed area of
the plate only with no boundary effects.
Deformable plate tests
To determine the effect of the boundary height (clamp
height) on the deformation of the plate for a given charge
mass.
Fig. 2 shows the layouts used to determine the effect of clamp
height (for a constant charge mass) on impulse transfer and deformation. In all cases with an exposed area the breadth (B) is
120 mm and the length (L) is 200 mm. The total plate dimensions
are 260 mm  300 mm. Tests with charge masses of 8 g, 12 g and
15 g (excluding the 1 g leader) are performed with either no
clamps, one clamp or two clamps on the loaded side of the plate
(additional charge masses are tested with two clamps). Each clamp
is 16 mm in height. The charge diameter is kept constant at 40 mm
which in this case results in a charge diameter to plate breadth ratio
of one-third. As a result of the diameter being held constant the
charge height increases with increasing charge mass. For the 8 g,
12 g and 15 g charge masses the calculated nominal charge heights
are 4.0 mm, 6.0 mm and 7.5 mm, respectively. The clamp assembly
is attached to a ballistic pendulum which measures the total
transferred impulse (see [1] for details of the experimental set-up).
The deformable plates are machined from 10 mm thick mild
steel plates. The plates are rst ground on one side to provide a at
surface and baseline from which to machine the thickness from the

opposite side. The plates were machined with a CNC milling machine to an average thickness of 3.74 mm  0.02 mm. The material
properties are not required for these plates since they are only used
for comparison with each other. Photographs of the ground side
and the post-blast deformed machined side of the deformable
plates are shown in Fig. 3.
The rigid exposed area plate tests are performed with a charge
mass of 15 g (excluding the 1 g leader). The rigid exposed area plate
is of the same size as the exposed area of the deformable plates and
the plate is sufciently offset from the pendulum attachments so as
to ensure no direct blast loading of the pendulum, as shown in
Fig. 4.
2.2. Localised blast load experimental results
2.2.1. Rigid plates
The experimental impulse versus mass of explosive results of
the localised blast load tests performed on rigid plates with varying
clamp heights is shown in Fig. 5. The rigid plate results are compared with previous deformable plate results to show that the
measured ballistic pendulum impulse is independent of plate deformation. The single clamp rigid plate results () correspond to the
previous single clamp deformable plate (A) trends. Another important point is that the various trend lines clearly show that for the
same charge mass the impulse recorded on the pendulum varies as
a function of clamp height. Increasing clamp height results in increased transfer of impulse to the ballistic pendulum and therefore
the effect of clamp height (experimental conguration) needs to be
taken into account.
For the cases where there is no clamp height, both sets of data
show a reduced impulse as compared with clamped plate tests. The
results of the exposed area rigid plate tests (,) are also shown in
Fig. 5 and the trend is below the rigid plate tests (:) with no clamp.
This is due to the reduced area of the exposed area plate tests
compared to the plate tests with no boundary. These tests give an
indication of the impulse transferred to the plate with no clamp
effects and no direct loading on top of the clamps. This information
is necessary to determine how much extra impulse is transferred to
the plates as a result of the clamps.
To get a quantitative idea of the effect of the clamps and clamp
height, the trends of the 15 1 g case are examined. Taking the one
clamp height case as a baseline the increase (decrease) in impulse
for the other cases is given as
Two clamps: 8.5%.
No clamps: 9.6%.
Exposed area only: 10.0%.

Fig. 4. Photograph of the rigid exposed area plate. A stand-off is used to ensure no
direct blast loading of the pendulum.

It is clear that when using the measured ballistic pendulum


impulse to apply a load either analytically or numerically, the experimental conguration used to obtain the impulse value needs to
be considered with great care.

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

43

Fig. 5. Graph showing the rigid and previous deformable (one clamp) plate impulses as a function of clamp height. The 1 g leader is included in the charge mass.

2.2.2. Deformable plates


It has been established that for the same charge mass signicantly different impulse measurements are possible depending on

Fig. 6. Graphs showing the effect of varying clamp heights on deformable plate
response. (a) Graph comparing impulse measured using deformable plates versus rigid
plates. (b) Graph of midpoint deection for a constant charge mass of 15 1 g.

the boundary conditions used in the experiment. The next step is to


determine whether for the same charge mass, the variation in
impulse results in a variation in midpoint deections for deformable plates.
The deformable plate impulses as a result of varying clamp
heights are compared with the rigid plate results at a charge mass
of 15 1 g as shown in Fig. 6(a). The grouping of the deformable
plate results corresponds to the grouping of the rigid plate results
for varying clamp heights. There is no trend of the deformable
plates transferring more impulse than the rigid plates and vice
versa. For the current deformable plate experiments it is again
shown that, within experimental variation, deformable plates do
not produce different impulse transfers when compared with rigid
plates.
The plate midpoint deections versus the measured impulse for
the various clamp heights at a constant charge mass of 15 1 g are
shown in Fig. 6(b). The experimental results indicate that even
though there is a large variation in impulse transferred to the
ballistic pendulum due to the varying clamp heights, the plate
midpoint deections are unaffected. Therefore for a given charge
mass the clamp height greatly affects the measured impulse
transfer but has no effect on the plate midpoint deection. This
suggests that not all the impulse measured by the ballistic pendulum results in plate deformation. This result is extremely important when representing the blast load with a simplied
impulsive pressure load for analytical and numerical work. Even
though the impulse measured by the ballistic pendulum is a true
measure of the impulse being transferred through the plate, the

Fig. 7. Schematic showing the rigid plate model set-up in AUTODYN for the 15 1 g
case.

44

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

Table 1
Material properties used in the rigid plate simulations obtained from the AUTODYN material library [7]
PE4 (Equation of state JWL)
r0 (g/cm3)
A (kPa)
1.601

6.0977  108

B (kPa)

R1

R2

CJ detonation
velocity (m/s)

CJ energy/
volume (kJ/m3)

CJ pressure (kPa)

Auto-convert to
ideal gas

1.295  107

4.5

1.4

0.25

8193

9.0  106

28.0  106

Yes

Air (Equation of state Ideal gas)


r0 (g/cm3)

T0 (K)

cp (J/kg K)

E0 (J/kg)

1.225  103

1.4

288.2

7.176  102

2.068  105

total measured impulse cannot simply be applied as a centrally


localised impulsive pressure load. As a result of the clamps, the
applied impulse must be reduced to take account of the measured
impulse which does not cause deformation.
2.3. Localised blast load numerical model
Localised blast loading simulations are performed using AUTODYN-2D v6.1, a state of-the-art nonlinear dynamics modelling and
simulation software package [7]. AUTODYN and similar codes are
often referred to as hydrocodes and are particularly suited to
modelling blast, impact and penetration events. Their power comes
from their ability to handle complex problems where a Lagrange
processor and an Eulerian processor can work side by side on the
same problem. The Lagrange processor uses a mesh which deforms
with the material it contains while the Eulerian processor has
a xed mesh in space which allows the material to move through it.
The Lagrange processor is typically used for solid, continuum
structures while the Eulerian processor is used for modelling gases,
liquids or solids where large deformations are likely to occur [9].
The localised blast loading simulations are performed axisymmetrically in AUTODYN-2D. The reason for using an axi-symmetric model as opposed to a 3-dimensional model is to reduce
computational costs. The axi-symmetric model is used to characterise how the impulse density varies as a function of distance from
the blast centre and to gain insight into the effect of the interaction
between the blast wave and the boundary (clamps). A simplied
pressure loading model is sought to replace the 3-dimensional
modelling of the explosive and plate interaction within reasonable
limits of accuracy.
2.3.1. Rigid plate model
The AUTODYN model used to obtain pressure histories from the
rigid plate test is shown in Fig. 7. The rigid plate is modelled by
not specifying a boundary condition at the edge of the air zone. This

allows no transmission of material and acts as a rigid boundary. The


reected pressure on the rigid plate is measured using gauge
points in the air cell on the edge of the air zone. Transmission
boundaries are included at the outer edges of the mesh. These
boundaries are sufciently far away from the plate so that the
majority of the loading on the plate is complete before any material
is lost through the transmission boundaries. The majority of the
central load transfer is assumed to be complete within approximately 40 ms (Fig. 10(d)) and the explosive products have not yet
reached the boundary (Fig. 9).
The size of the Eulerian cells is approximately 0.5 mm  0.5 mm.
The air is modelled using the ideal gas law and the explosive
(PE4 C4) is modelled using the JWL equation of state [8]. The
material properties of the air and the explosive are given in Table 1
and are obtained from the material library in AUTODYN [7]. When
lling the air Eulerian mesh the specic internal energy (E0) of the
air is required and details of this calculation can be found in Refs.
[9,10].
The detonation is modelled using a programmed burn where
the detonation front travels at a constant detonation velocity of
8193 m/s for PE4 [7, 11]. The programmed burn assumes that detonation takes place instantaneously. As the detonation front reaches a material point within the un-reacted explosive material, the
explosive material is instantaneously transformed into gaseous
detonation products together with the release of energy associated
with the chemical reaction [9]. The 1 g leader used with the detonator is included in the model as seen in Fig. 7. Detonation is initiated at the end of the leader furthest from the plate and the
detonation front travels as a planar wave along the leader. After
reaching the end of the leader the detonation progresses into the
explosive disc automatically using the programmed burn
algorithm.
2.3.2. Loading simulation results
The rigid plate simulation results for charge masses of 8 1 g,
12 1 g and 15 1 g are shown graphically in Fig. 8 for various
clamp heights. The results follow the same trend as the experimental results with an increase in impulse recorded for an increasing clamp height at a constant charge mass. To get
a quantitative idea of the effect of the clamps and clamp height, the
trends of the 15 1 g case are examined for the numerical model.
Taking the one clamp height case as a baseline, the increase (decrease) in impulse for the other cases is given as (rectangular plate
experimental values are given in parenthesis)
Two clamps: 9.9% (8.5%)
No clamps: 21.6% (9.6%)
Exposed area only: 33.3% (10.0%) (trend not shown in Fig. 8)

Fig. 8. Graph of impulse versus charge mass for axi-symmetric rigid plate simulations.

The exposed area only and the no clamps case have slightly
different impulses because the no clamps case has a larger area
than the exposed area only case. Localised blast loading is not
uniform and therefore the ratio of impulse of the exposed area only
and the no clamps cases is not directly proportional to their

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

45

Fig. 9. Diagrams showing the pressure contours of the rigid plate simulations with varying clamp heights at different times. Only the regions above the plate and clamp are shown.
The bottom edge of each contour plot is the axis of symmetry.

respective areas. It is, however, useful to compare the no clamps


case with the clamped cases because there is some loading on the
top surfaces of the clamps and this area is included in the no clamps
case.
The increase in impulse for an increase in clamp height is more
severe for the numerical results due to the fact that they are axisymmetric and that the radius is taken as the half-width of the
rectangular plate. The entire boundary of the axi-symmetric plate is

close to the centre of the localised blast load as opposed to the


rectangular plate where only the half-width boundaries are close.
The axi-symmetric plate using the half-width as a radius gives an
upper bound of the effect of boundary conditions on impulse
transfer. Since only a trend of the effect of clamp height is sought
the upper bound is sufcient. Direct comparisons between rectangular and axi-symmetric plates should not be made from this
choice.

46

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

Fig. 10. Graphs showing the effect of clamp height on the impulse density prole for a charge mass of 15 1 g.

For the axi-symmetric plates with clamps, as the explosive


products expand radially they are met in all directions by
a clamp face perpendicular to the radial expansion. This constraint is equal in all directions and does not allow a relief of
pressure as is the case with the rectangular plates used in the
experiments. For the rectangular plates, only the explosive
products interacting with the closest point on the shortest and
longest boundaries do so at right angles. Explosive products
interacting with other points along the boundaries do so at

acute angles which will result in lower reected pressures and


therefore lower impulse transfer.
Fig. 9 shows the pressure build-up due to the clamped boundary. The pressure build-up acts on the plate near the boundary after
most of the pressure has receded above the plate with no clamp.
This lingering pressure, although of relatively low magnitude, acts
over a long duration and therefore increases the total impulse
transferred to the plate. Graphs of the intermediate impulse density
proles are shown in Fig. 10. The impulse density is dened as the

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

Fig. 11. Contour of the mapped impulse density prole onto a quarter-symmetric
rectangular grid.

impulse per unit area. The impulse density at the centre of the plate
has almost reached a maximum by the time the impulse density
begins to increase at the boundary as shown in Fig. 10(b) and (c).
The reected pressure from the clamp travels back and forth across
the plate and gradually adds more impulse. This is seen in the nal
impulse density prole in Fig. 10(f) where the plate with two
clamps has a slightly higher impulse density than the plate with
a single clamp which in turn has a higher impulse density than the
plate with no clamp.
2.4. Experimental versus numerical impulse results
In order to compare the rectangular experimental impulse
results with the axi-symmetric numerical impulse results, the
axi-symmetric impulse density results are mapped onto the quarter-rectangular layout as shown in Fig. 11. The impulse is calculated
by creating a rectangular grid of 1 mm  1 mm square elements
and multiplying the area of each element by its impulse density.
The impulse density of each element is determined by calculating
its distance from the plate centre and using the distance to nd the
impulse density from the AUTODYN impulse density prole with
no clamps. An example of the impulse density prole obtained
from AUTODYN is shown in Fig. 13(a).
Once the impulse acting on each element is known the impulses
are summed over the rectangle to obtain the total impulse (which is
multiplied by 4). Fig. 12 shows a graph comparing the

47

Fig. 12. Graph of experimental versus numerical impulses for the exposed area rigid
plate tests.

experimentally obtained impulses with the numerically obtained


impulses. The trend of the numerical impulses obtained from
AUTODYN is below the experimental impulses. Given the necessary
simplications and approximations required to model this complicated event the numerical trend is nevertheless acceptable.
Halving the element size in the region adjacent to the plate and
using double precision as opposed to the usual single precision
AUTODYN processor resulted in no change in the simulation results.
2.5. Final form of simplied pressure loading
Axi-symmetric impulse density proles obtained from the
8 1 g, 12 1 g and 15 1 g AUTODYN simulations with no clamps
are each t (using a least-squares minimisation method) with
a function of the form given in Eq. (1). The function is purely a curvet and no physical meaning is attached. Any function which can t the
impulse density prole could be used. The 15 1 g case is shown in
Fig.13(a). The AUTODYN ts are shifted up slightly so that the impulse
they produce over the quarter-rectangular layout (Fig. 11) matches
their respective experimental impulses (exposed area only). The shift
to match the experimental impulse is shown in Fig. 13(b) for the
15 1 g case (the shift is barely noticeable but nevertheless increases
the impulse by approximately 7.7%). The 15 1 g case is chosen as
a baseline impulse density function. The baseline function is multiplied by a scaling factor which is varied until the difference between
the scaled baseline function and the 12 1 g experimentally
matched function is minimised. The process is repeated for the

Fig. 13. Graphs showing how the AUTODYN impulse density distribution is matched to the experimental impulse for the 15 1 g case. (a) A function is t to the AUTODYN impulse
density distribution. (b) The AUTODYN t is shifted up to matched the experimental impulse.

48

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052


Table 2
Constants for baseline 15 1 g impulse density function
I*h (N s/m2)

I*l (N s/m2)

I*0 (N s/m2)

I*1 (N s/m2)

I*2 (N s/m2)

14500

5657.6

68.17

5743.1

153.67

s1 (mm1)

s2 (mm1)

s3

s4

rinI (mm)

0.10288

0.16348

1.22759

0.91143

20.25

scaling factor, the impulse density distribution from the experimentally corrected AUTODYN simulations can be matched.
3. Loading model validation
Fig. 14. Graph of the optimised specic impulse scaling factor and its trend.

3.1. Material model

8 1 g case. The scale factors are plotted as a function of charge mass


(including the 1 g leader) in Fig. 14 together with a linear trend.
The linear trend allows the scale factor to be determined for any
charge mass in the range 8 1 g to 15 1 g. It is not known how far
the linear trend can be extrapolated on either side of the range; this
needs to be further investigated. The scale factor trend and the
baseline function allow the impulse density distribution to be
determined for any charge mass in the specied range. This means
that by simply specifying the charge mass, the impulse density
distribution which corresponds to the correct experimental impulse
can be found. The baseline function (the 15 1 g case) is given as

I * r
I * r




Ih*  Il*




1  exp s1 rinI  rs3 I1*




Il*  I0* exp s2 r  rinI s4 I2*

for r  rinI

for r > rinI

where r (mm) is the distance from the centre and the constants
used to t the function are given in Table 2. The scaled impulse
density function, using the trend from Fig. 14, is given as

I * r; m 0:059m 0:068I * r

(2)

The results of scaling the baseline impulse density function are


shown in Fig. 15 for the 8 1 g and 12 1 g cases, respectively. The
results show that by multiplying the baseline function by a simple

In order to validate the scaled impulse density function, an independent set of experiments are performed on 3 mm thick,
monolithic single-clamped mild steel plates with an exposed area
of 120 mm  200 mm. The chemical composition of the commercial quality mild steel plates is given in Table 3. The plate material
mechanical properties are characterised based on tensile tests and
Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) tests. The behaviour at quasistatic (8  104 s1), intermediate (8  102 s1) and dynamic
(2.6  103 s1) strain rates is characterised.
The quasi-static and intermediate results are obtained using an
iterative experimental/numerical method in which the tensile tests
are simulated and the material properties adjusted until the experimental forcedeection curves are matched. A more detailed
description of this method is given by Bao and Wierzbicki [12]. The
result of the quasi-static strain hardening characterisation is given
in Fig. 16(a). The high temperature response is based on high strain
rate, high temperature results of a similar mild steel as presented
by Gilat and Wu [13]. The JohnsonCook [14] temperature model is
characterised based on these results as shown in Fig. 16(b).
The strain rate effects are characterised based on a strain of 0.1.
The strain rate effects are additive as opposed to multiplicative and
therefore the strain rate effect causes a parallel shift of the ow
stress curve. With a multiplicative strain rate model, such as
JohnsonCook [14], the work-hardening rate increases as the strain
rate increases which is not always true for BCC metals as discussed
by Liang and Khan [15]. The temperature effects are taken into
account when characterising the high strain rate response because

Fig. 15. Graph showing how the scaled 8 1 g and 12 1 g curves match the shifted AUTODYN ts.

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052


Table 3
Plate material chemical composition specication (ladle analysis, percent) [19]
Thickness, t (mm)

C (max)

Mn (max)

P (max)

S (max)

Si (max)

t < 4.5
t  4.5

0.15
0.25

1.00
1.60

0.035
0.040

0.035
0.035

0.30
0.50

the experimental results implicitly include temperature for strains


up to 0.1. The effect of including temperature in the strain rate
characterisation is shown in Fig. 16(c).
The nal form of the material model is similar to that of Zhao
[16] except that the coupling term between strain hardening and
strain rate is omitted. The material model as a function of strain
hardening, strain rate and temperature is given as

 i

s s3p s 3_ p

f T

(3)

where

p g

s3p A ssat  A 1  expb3

a

"
!
!1=C2 #
 p
3_ p
3_ p
s 3_ sref C ln p C1 p
3_ 0
3_ 0

f T 1 

T  Tref
Tmelt  Tref

!M

B3p

49

The coefcients used in the material model are summarised in


Table 4. The coefcients cp and h are the specic heat and inelastic
heat fraction (TaylorQuinney coefcient), respectively. 100% of the
plastic work is assumed to be converted into heat.
A graphical summary of the material response at various strain
rates is given in Fig. 17. The tensile test results at quasi-static and
intermediate strain rates are only presented up to the Ultimate
Tensile Stress (UTS).

3.2. Finite element model


The nite element program ABAQUS/Explicit v6.56 [17] is
used for the numerical model of the monolithic plates. The
numerical model consists of a 1/4 scale model of the clamped
plate as shown in Fig. 18(a). Appropriate symmetry boundary
conditions are included on the symmetry edges. A rigid clamp is
placed at the boundary and a clamping force is applied. The
plate is meshed using 3-dimensional continuum 8-node linear
brick elements with reduced integration and hourglass control
(C3D8R). The clamps are meshed using 4-node 3-dimensional
discrete rigid brick elements (R3D4). Hard contact with separation allowed is dened between the clamp and the plate. Tangential behaviour is included with a friction coefcient of 0.5.
Simulating an actual clamp as opposed to simply constraining
the nodes at the boundary allows slight pull-in of the plate
which is more realistic [18]. The scaled impulse density prole is
applied to the exposed area of the plate by converting it to
a pressure prole. The pressure is calculated as

Fig. 16. Graphs showing the strain hardening, temperature and strain rate response of the plate material. (a) Quasi-static strain hardening response. (b) Temperature response (at
high strain rate from Gilat et al [13]). (c) High strain rate response including temperature effects.

50

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

3.4. Comparison with published prole

Table 4
Final optimised material constants for the material model
A (MPa)

B (MPa)

ssat (MPa)

278.1

438.4

1.0

349.6

19.12

0.274

2253.3

Tref (K)

Tmelt (K)

cp (J/kg K)

0.669

300

1811

452

sref (MPa)

C1

C2

3_ 0 s1

387

0.01

9.81  105

1.7

8.33  104

A localised blast load pressure model was developed by Bimha


[5]. The model consists of a constant pressure acting over the
charge radius with a decaying pressure prole to the plate
boundary. The pressure prole is given as

P P0 ;

ra

P P0 ekra ;

I*
tb

(4)

where the pressure prole is applied for a duration equal to the


burn time, tb, which is calculated as the charge radius divided by
the detonation velocity. The burn time equals 2.44 ms in this case.
The pressure load is applied using a Fortran coded VDLOAD usersubroutine in ABAQUS/Explicit v6.56. The extent of the deformation for a 15 1 g charge mass is shown in Fig. 18(b) where
the nal midpoint deection is more than 10 times the plate
thickness.

3.3. Experimental versus nite element results


The experimental results for midpoint deection are shown
in Fig. 19 together with a selection of simulation results and
good correlation is achieved. Since the midpoint deections are
a necessary but insufcient condition of validation the deection
prole is also veried. Fig. 20 shows the experimental and numerical deection proles for a 13 1 g and a 16 1 g charge
mass. The simulation results, which correlate well with the experimental midpoint deection trends and deection proles,
validate the pressure loading prole and the scaled applied
impulse.

a<rR

where P0 central pressure, a charge radius, r position along


radius and R plate outer radius. The decay constant, k, obtained
using a combined experimental/numerical method is given by

a 

k 130  261

 a 2

948

0:15 <

a
< 0:6
R

(6)

The units for the decay constant given in Eq. (6) are m1. For an a/R
ratio of one-third the decay constant is 148.3 m1. The central
pressure is found by substituting Eq. (5) into the impulse equation

I 2p

ZZ

Pr; tr dr dt

(7)

and solving for P0 (the impulse is known). P(r,t) is the pressure


distribution as a function of radius and time (in this case the
pressure is constant in time and the time is taken as the burn time,
tb).
The model developed by Bimha [5] is used herein to obtain the
plate deection prole for the 13 1 g case using both the measured ballistic pendulum impulse and the scaled impulse (from
exposed area only plate tests). A comparison of the Bimha models
as well as the resulting plate deection proles is shown in Fig. 21.
The Bimha model and results are compared with the proposed
impulse function and the proposed function shows better correlation in terms of plate deection prole. It is interesting to note that
good correlation is only achieved for the Bimha model in which the
applied impulse has been scaled to the exposed area only impulses.
The results show that the simple Bimha model provides a relatively

Fig. 17. Graphs showing a summary of experimental and numerical material curves for quasi-static (8  104 s1), intermediate (8  102 s1) and dynamic (2.6  103 s1) strain
rate tests.

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

51

Fig. 18. Diagrams of the 1/4 scale monolithic plate model. (a) Monolithic plate mesh. (b) Monolithic plate deformation for 15 1 g charge mass.

accurate prediction in terms of plate deection prole. It could


therefore be used as a localised pressure loading model on condition that the impulse is scaled correctly to remove nondeformation causing impulse.
4. Conclusions
A series of experiments have been performed to determine
the effect of the presence of clamps and clamp height on
impulse transfer for both rigid and deformable plates under
localised blast loading. An increase in clamp height in the
experiments was found to increase the impulse measured by
the ballistic pendulum. Deformable plate experiments with
varying clamp height showed that the additional impulse due
to the clamps did not inuence the deformation of the plate.
This implies that not all the impulse measured by a ballistic
pendulum necessarily contributes to plate deformation. This is
an extremely important result and has implications for localised load representation in numerical simulations and analytical modelling. Previous empirical results in terms of
impulse and corresponding damage numbers need to be
interpreted in terms of the experimental set-up in which they
were obtained. In other words, previous empirical results
implicitly contain the effect of using a single clamp (used in
the majority of cases).
Axi-symmetric simulations with AUTODYN were used to develop a pressure loading model which only takes into account the
impulse which results in plate deformation and not the entire
impulse as measured by a ballistic pendulum. The loading model
was applied to rectangular plates and excellent correlation with
experiments was achieved for plate midpoint deection and plate
deection prole. The results of the loading model were compared

Fig. 19. Graph of the experimental and numerical midpoint deections versus impulse
for the monolithic plates.

with the results of a published localised loading model and the


proposed model was found to correspond better with experimental
results. When used with only the deformation causing impulse, the
loading model by Bimha [5] was found to be a valid simple
approximation.
It is noted that only one experimental conguration (one load
diameter and plate size) has been investigated in this work. The
signicance of the results obtained suggests that the work needs
to be extended to include various charge stand-offs and diameters and various plate congurations. The effect of clamping
arrangement also needs to be investigated for uniform blast
loads.
Acknowledgements
The authors thank Glen Newins and the workshop staff of
the Department of Mechanical Engineering for their technical
support. Special acknowledgement is due to Trevor Cloete for
his insight into high strain rate material modelling. Financial

Fig. 20. Graphs comparing experimental and numerical deection proles using the
proposed impulse density model. (a) 13 1 g charge mass. (b) 16 1 g charge mass.

52

D. Bonorchis, G.N. Nurick / International Journal of Impact Engineering 36 (2009) 4052

References

Fig. 21. Graphs comparing the Bimha [5] pressure proles and resulting plate deection proles for the full impulse and scaled impulse for a 13 1 g charge mass. The
results are compared with the proposed impulse function. (a) Pressure proles. (b)
Long and short boundary plate deection proles.

support was provided by the National Research Foundation


(NRF) of South Africa and the CSIR (Defence, Peace, Safety and
Security).

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