Scientists test blast-resistant concrete

Jan 22, 2009

Engineers at the University of Liverpool have tested a new form of concrete designed to reduce the impact of bomb blasts in public areas.

The fibre-reinforced concrete was found to absorb a thousand times more energy than plain concrete and could therefore be used for bomb-proof litter bins and protection barriers. Although not yet used in the UK the concrete has been utilised in Australia in the design of slender footbridges and in the roofs of government buildings to strengthen them against mortar attack.

University Engineers working in partnership with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure explored the limits of the concrete's capability through a range of tests for dynamic bending and "shear" or indirect stress. These culminated in a series of high explosion blast tests at RAF Spadeadam, in Cumbria, each representing a typical IRA car bomb.

The Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) resisted the high explosion blast without any disintegration from the back of the panels causing shrapnel. This is important in the use of protection barriers designed to shield people from bomb blasts.

Professor Steve Millard said: "Many of London's tourist landmarks are surrounded by concrete to protect against terrorist attacks. However, the material does not absorb sufficient energy to prevent the creation of shrapnel which is one of the most lethal consequences of a bomb blast. UHPFRC is different because needle-thin steel fibres are added into the concrete mix instead of steel reinforcing bars to increase its tensile strength.

"We carried out a number of high explosion tests; gradually reducing the distance to the explosive charge to examine the concrete's bending strength and capacity to absorb energy. Our results showed the new UHPFRC material had an enhanced tension and compression strength of 500% greater than conventional concrete. This makes UHPFRC a suitable material for use in anti-terrorism applications."

Source: University of Liverpool

Explore further: Researchers design a new system to make overtaking safer on highways

Related Stories

Novel vision of the death of massive stars

Jan 08, 2015

An international consortium, in which the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Ikerbasque and CSIC are participating, has published in a single article a compendium of data obtained after the simultaneous ...

Formula calculates thickness of bombproof concrete

Jul 01, 2014

A new type of steel-reinforced concrete protects buildings better from bomb attacks. Researchers have developed a formula to quickly calculate the concrete's required thickness. The material will be used ...

Recommended for you

Europe's deepest glider to be developed

23 hours ago

19 partners from across Europe have come together to develop Europe's first ultra-deep-sea robot glider. This glider will be capable of sampling the ocean autonomously at depths of 5000m, and maybe more in ...

Researchers help reconstructing the Michelangelo bronzes

23 hours ago

Engineers and imagers from the University of Warwick's Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and anatomists from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick are helping Art historians from the University ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Honor
not rated yet Jan 22, 2009
Somebody set up us the bomb

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.