Semi-active management of blast load structural response
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This thesis investigates the possibility of controlling the response of a general multi-degree of freedom structure to a relatively distant blast load using passive and semi-active devices. A relatively distant blast is one that applies significant momentum to the structure, but does not destroy the face of the structure. Three multi-storey structures, and one single-storey structure, are modelled using non-linear finite elements with structural columns discretised into multiple elements to accurately capture the effects of higher order modes that are typically excited in such blast load responses. The single-storey model structure is subjected to blast loads of varying duration, magnitude and shape, and the critical aspects of the response are investigated over a range of structural periods in the form of blast load response spectra. The optimal device arrangements are found to be those that reduce the first peak of the structural displacement and thus also reduce the subsequent free vibration of the structure. For a given blast load, various passive and semi-active devices, as well as device architectures, are investigated. The optimal device architecture was found to be one that spanned approximately two-thirds the height of the structure. Depending on what damage parameters are considered critical for a given structure, different devices and arrangements are appropriate. The main factors in choosing a semi-active device and its control architecture, or arrangement, are the tradeoffs between permanent deflection, free vibration, base shear and device capacity limitations. Overall, the results present a first analysis on the effectiveness of semi-active devices and the unique force-displacement properties they offer for mitigating non-catastrophic blast loads.