Abstract: Typical timber construction, used extensively throughout North America, is not generally regarded as having inherent blast-resistance. However, timber framed structures are so widespread that many of these structures face a real risk of being subjected to blast-induced explosive loading. The advantages of timber construction – ease of construction, cost and adaptability – results in structures which are lightweight, yet relatively weak. Such structures are vulnerable to high pressure-short duration blast loads. The blast threats facing timber structures come from malicious terrorist attacks or accidental industrial explosions. In other cases, timber structures and their occupants are placed at an unacceptable level of risk by simply being located within the blast-radius of other high-risk high-profile infrastructure.
Wood framed buildings rely on exterior load bearing stud walls to carry gravity loads and resist in-plane seismic lateral loads. These exterior walls are only designed to resist relatively small lateral wind pressures. Timber construction is generally regarded as blast deficient as it does not have sufficient lateral load capacity to survive the blast event and prevent progressive collapse of the structure. We have developed a novel approach to strengthen blast-deficient wood frame buildings. This approach involves using a specially designed hanger and tension rod system to provide the necessary strength and continuity to increase the blast resistance of exterior stud walls