Spectral analysis of semi-actively controlled structures subjected to blast loading
This paper investigates the possibility of controlling the response of typical portal frame structures to blast loading using a combination of semi-active and passive control devices. A one storey reinforced concrete portal frame is modelled using non-linear finite elements with each column discretised into multiple elements to capture the higher frequency modes of column vibration response that are typical features of blast responses. The 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. It is found that the shape or length of the blast load is not a factor in the response, as long as the period is less than 25% of the fundamental structural period. Thus, blast load response can be expressed strictly as a function of the momentum applied to the structure by a blast load. The optimal device arrangements are found to be those that reduce the first peak of the structural displacement and also reduce the subsequent free vibration of the structure. Semi-active devices that do not increase base shear demands on the foundations in combination with a passive yielding tendon are found to provide the most effective control, particularly if base shear demand is an important consideration, as with older structures. The overall results are summarised as response spectra for eventual potential use within standard structural design paradigms.