Abstract: Recent bomb attacks on civilian facilities and accidental explosions in or near buildings have heightened the awareness on performance of buildings subjected to blast loads. While considerable research has been conducted to protect physical infrastructure against military bomb attacks generating classified technical information, design guidelines for blast retrofit of building components against accidental and maliciously intended bomb blasts is scarce in the literature. A comprehensive research program has been underway at the University of Ottawa for increased survivability of civilian buildings against blast shock waves. Extensive testing of reinforced concrete columns, one and two way slabs, concrete walls, masonry walls, and timber stud walls have been conducted; and blast retrofit technologies have been developed for these building components. An overview of the research program is provided in this paper.
The experimental program was conducted using the University of Ottawa shock tube with capabilities of simulating blast shock waves on large-scale building components. Analytical research was conducted to develop retrofit design guidelines. The focus was placed on the use of carbon fibre reinforced polymer sheets as the retrofit material, though polyurea was also used for retrofitting unreinforced masonry walls. A tension rod system was used for retrofitting timber stud wall systems. The results indicate improved strength and ductility of components with improved protection against fragmentation, significantly enhancing the survivability of buildings.