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Finite Element Analysis and Modeling of Steel Beams under Blast Loading



Terrorist attacks such as the bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar El-Salaam, Tanzania have encouraged researchers around the world to study the behavior of potentially vulnerable structures when subject to blast loads. Also, none of the existing steel design codes have any provision related to designing against blast loads. Therefore, steel buildings designed based on the provisions of current codes may be unable to maintain their structural integrity under the influence of these events. Experiments involving wide-flange steel beams being subjected to live explosives (up to 250 kg of ammonium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO) mixture) were carried out by other researchers at McMaster University and the experimental results obtained therefrom were used as a quantitative basis to validate the finite element model in this paper. The displacement response results, recorded during the tests, were used to verify the results obtained from the model. ABAQUS FEA software, a commercially-available finite element analysis program, was used to model the steel beams. Results obtained from ABAQUS were compared with the experimental test results.

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