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: Eye implant could lead to better glaucoma treatment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Feds allows logging after huge California wildfire

33 minutes ago

The U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow logging on nearly 52 square miles of the Sierra Nevada burned last year in a massive California wildfire, a move contested by environmentalists.

Apple to unveil 'iWatch' on September 9

54 minutes ago

Apple will unveil an "iWatch" in September with the maker of the iPhone finally embarking on its much-rumored foray into wearable computing, technology news website Re/code said Wednesday.

New study charts the global invasion of crop pests

6 hours ago

Many of the world's most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a new study led by the University of Exeter.

Recommended for you

3D printed nose wins design award

18 hours ago

A Victoria University of Wellington design student is the New Zealand finalist for the James Dyson Award 2014 for his Master's project—a 3D printed prosthetic nose.

Engineering the Kelpies

18 hours ago

Recently, Falkirk in Scotland saw the opening of the Kelpies, two thirty metre high horse head sculptures either side of a lock in a new canal extension.

Technology on the catwalk

18 hours ago

Summer days bring thoughts of beach picnics, outdoor barbecues and pool parties. Yet it only takes the buzz of one tiny mosquito to dampen the fun.

Dismantling ships and the trajectory of steel

19 hours ago

Tell me how you dismantle a ship, and I'll tell how a region can prosper from its steel! This could be the motto of this master's cycle at ENAC during which the projects of two civil engineering students ...

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