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SECTION 1

BLAST LOADING OF A COLUMN

1.1 Introduction

This report presents the analysis of blast loading of a steel column. Finite element analysis in LS-
Dyna was used to estimate the response of a column due to blast loading. Results obtained from
finite element analysis were compared with analytical solution. Implicit modal analysis and
explicit static analysis were done to assess the robustness of numerical model prepared in LS-
Dyna. Elastic and elasto-plastic material models in LS-Dyna were used for steel column. Column
was subjected to varying duration of blast loads (1 ms, 10 ms, and 50 ms) to estimate the change
in response. Finally, results of finite element analyses were compared with results of SDOF blast
analysis using Biggs chart.

1.2 Properties of Steel Column

A W14257 steel column section was used for the analysis. Additional details of column are
presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Properties of column used for analysis

Property Notation Value


Cross-sectional area A 0.04855 m2
Moment of inertia about strong axis I 1.41510-3 m4
Mass per unit length m 382.48 Kg/m
Modulus of elasticity E 2.071011 N/m2
Length L 5m
Mass density 7830 Kg/m3

1.3 Verification of LS-Dyna Model

1.3.1 General
Finite element models of column were prepared in LS-Dyna for two boundary conditions-
1)Fixed-fixed, and 2) Pin-roller. Eigenvalues obtained from FE analysis and analytical
calculations were compared to check the robustness of the numerical. Implicit eigensolver was
used for modal analysis in LS-Dyna. As column is primarily loaded along the strong axis,
eigenvalues corresponding to vibration about the strong axis were compared for the sake of

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convenience. To further assess the robustness of the model static analyses were done for the two
boundary conditions, and results were compared with analytical solution.

Figure 1: Finite element model of column created in LS-Dyna

1.3.2 Modal Analysis


Fundamental frequencies of steel column for vibration about strong axis were calculated for the
two boundary conditions. Analytical expression for the fundamental frequency of column fixed
at both ends is given by:


2
EI
(1)
L m

Fundamental frequency for the pin-roller support boundary condition is given by:

1.5
2
EI
(2)
L m

Frequencies ( f ) obtained from these analytical expressions and FE analyses are presented in
Table 2. Comparison of support reactions is presented in Table 3.

Table 2: Comparison of frequencies

Support condition Analytical (cycles/s) FE Analysis (cycles/s)


Fixed-fixed 125 97
Pin-roller 55 50

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Table 3: Comparison of support reactions

Support condition Analytical (kN) FE Analysis (kN)


Fixed-fixed 50 50.77
Pin-roller 50 50.36

1.3.3 Static Analysis


To further assess the robustness of numerical model created in LS-Dyna, static analysis with
explicit solver was used and results were compared with analytical solution. A point load of 100
kN was applied as a ramp load at the mid-height of the column. 100 kN load was distributed
along the width of the flange as point loads on 55 nodes as shown in Figure 2. Duration of ramp
loading used was 100 ms (>5Tn) to reproduce the quasi-static behavior of loading. Loading curve
used for analysis is shown in Figure 3. Where M is the bending moment at the section and y is
the distance from neutral axis. Flexural stress was calculated at support and at quarter length of
column. Comparison of results is presented in Table 4. Results show good agreement at quarter
length of column; however, difference grows larger at the support. Values of stresses and strain
at the support are dependent on how the boundary conditions are applied. Also, decreasing the
mesh size gives consistent results, but with higher cost of computations..

Figure 2: Static loading of the column

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Figure 3: Ramp loading applied on 55 nodes of top flange

Distribution of flexural stress along the depth of section is given by the expression:

My
zz (3)
I

Where M is the bending moment at the section and y is the distance from neutral axis. Flexural
stress was calculated at support and at quarter length of column. Comparison of results is
presented in Table 4. Results show good agreement at quarter length of column; however,
difference grows larger at the support. Values of stresses and strain at the support are dependent
on how the boundary conditions are applied. Also, decreasing the mesh size gives consistent
results, but with higher cost of computations.

Table 4: Comparison of flexural stresses

zz
Support Condition Location Bottom (MPa) Quarter (MPa)
Analytical LS-Dyna Analytical LS-Dyna
Top flange 0 0.12 -9.2 -9.2
Pin-roller Neutral axis 0 0.20 0 0
Bottom flange 0 6.40 9.2 9.2
Top flange 9.2 12.0 0 -0.53
Fixed-fixed Neutral axis 0 0 0 0
Bottom flange -9.2 -12.1 0 0.48

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Distribution of shear strain along section-depth of the column was also evaluated. Analytical
expression for shear strain is given by:

1 VQ
yz (4)
G Ib

where V is the shear force at particular section, Q is first moment of area above the considered
point about neutral axis, I is moment of inertia about bending axis, b is the width of the section,
and G is the shear modulus. Variation of shear strain along depth of section obtained from LS-
Dyna for fixed-fixed boundary condition at the support is presented in Figure 4.

0.4

0.35

0.3
Height (m)

0.25 Shear strain


0.2

0.15

0.1

0.05

0
0.00E+00 5.00E-06 1.00E-05 1.50E-05 2.00E-05
Shear strain

Figure 4: Shear strain variation obtained from LS-Dyna for fixed-fixed boundary condition

Shear strain used above is true or logarithmic strain. Strain values calculated from Eqn. (4)
shows obvious deviation from logarithmic strain values obtained from LS-Dyna. However, if
strain is calculated as shear stress obtained LS-Dyna divided by shear modulus, obtained values
show good agreement with Eqn. (4).

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1.4 Blast Loading of Column

1.4.1 General
Step loading of three different durations were applied to column with pin and roller support. In
order to avoid any computational error due to sudden drop of step loading, drop was
approximated with a slope slightly less than 90 degrees. Fundamental period of column was 18
ms. Accordingly, total time of analysis was chosen as 100 ms to capture the response. 10 MN
load was distributed between 855 nodes at mid-span as shown in Figure 5. Elastic and elasto-
plastic models of material were used for analysis. For elasto-plastic analysis, post-yield tangent
modulus was taken as 2% of elastic modulus. Yield stress of steel was assumed as 350 MPa.

Figure 5: Blast loading of the column

1.4.2 Elastic Behavior


Analyses were performed in LS-Dyna with elastic material for load durations of 1 ms, 10 ms,
and 50 ms. Values obtained from LS-Dyna were compared with SDOF calculations using Biggs
chart(Biggs, 1964).

Fundamental period of vibration was T =0.0182 secs. Elastic stiffness of equivalent single
degree of freedom system for pin-roller supported column is given by expression:

48EI
K 1.121108 N / m (5)
L3

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Static displacement for applied force of 10 MN is given by:

F0
ust 0.089m (6)
K

td t
Based on different values of , different responses were obtained. If d <<1 (as in the case of 1
T T
ms load duration), loading is considered impulsive and maximum response was obtained using
td
initial conditions. For higher values of , Biggs charts was used to obtain dynamic load factor
T
(DLF) and is multiplied by the static response calculated above to obtain the maximum response.

For impulsive loading of magnitude ir , initial velocity is u0 ir / m , and initial displacement is

u0 0 . Maximum displacement is given by(Chopra, 2007; Whittaker and Aref, 2010):

ir
u (t ) sin t 0cos t (7)
m

ir
umax (8)
m

Impulse is calculated as: ir F0td 104 N s . Here the mass would be half of the total mass that

is lumped at the middle for SDOF analysis. Substituting the values in Eq. (8), umax 0.031 m.
Values of maximum displacement obtained for different duration of loading obtained from Biggs
chart and LS-Dyna analyses are presented in Table 5.

Table 5: Maximum response to blast loadings

td Max. displacement (m) Max. stress (Gpa)


td (ms) DLF
T Biggs chart LS-Dyna LS-Dyna
1 0.055 0.35 0.033 0.036 1.5
10 0.550 2 0.178 0.215 3.7
50 2.750 2 0.178 0.217 3.9

Dynamic reactions at supports and arrival of shear force at quarter length and supports are
reported in Table 6.

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Table 6: Reaction forces and time of arrival for elastic case

td (ms) Max Reaction Arrival time of shear force


(MN) Quarter (ms) Support (ms)
1 7.6 0.3 0.4
10 12.1 0.3 0.4
50 13.54 0.3 0.4

Displacement histories and support reaction histories for different load durations are presented in
Figure 7, Figure 8, Figure 9, Figure 10, Figure 11, and Figure 12. Response obtained from LS-
Dyna is consistent with anticipated results from excitation of a SDOF system subjected to step
loading (Chopra, 2007).

Ideally for free vibration of an elastic SDOF system, amplitude of motion should be constant;
however, numerical methods used to solve equation of motions introduce numerical damping.
No inherent or viscous damping was assigned to model in LS-Dyna. Response histories obtained
from LS-Dyna show presence of numerical damping leading to reduction in amplitude of motion.

Figure 6: Biggs chart used for response estimation

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Figure 7: Displacement history at the mid-length of column for 1 ms load

Figure 8: Support reaction history at the support for 1 ms load

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Figure 9: Displacement history at the mid-length of column for 10 ms load

Figure 10: Support reaction history at the support for 10 ms load

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Figure 11: Displacement history at the mid-length of column for 50 ms load

Figure 12: Support reaction history at the support for 50 ms load

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1.4.3 Elasto-plastic Behavior
For elasto-plastic behavior of steel, maximum resistance of column section was determined using
plastic analysis:

4M P 4 Z f y
Rm 2.22 106 N (9)
L 5

Elastic resistance of column is calculated as:

Rm
R 1.95 106 N (10)
( shapefactor 1.14)

Yield displacement is calculated as:

R
yel 0.0174m (11)
K

td
It should be noted that values of for load durations specified in this problem, the ductility
T
response from Biggs chart is out of bound. For 10 ms and 50 ms load duration, ductility values
go beyond 200, which is physically not possible. Most of the materials have ductility failure
limits much lower than obtained here. It can be assumed for all practical purposes that material
has failed for durations of 10 ms and 50 ms in case of elasto-plastic case. Response obtained
from analyses in LS-Dyna is summarized in Table 7.

Table 7: Reaction forces and time of arrival for elastic case

td (ms) Max Reaction Arrival time of shear force


(MN) Quarter (ms) Support (ms)
1 1.774 0.3 0.4
10 4.4 0.3 0.4
50 12.52 0.3 0.4

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Displacement histories and support reaction histories for different load durations are presented in
Figure 14, Figure 13, Figure 15, Figure 16, Figure 17, and Figure 18.

Figure 13: Displacement history at middle of column for 1 ms load

Figure 14: Support reaction history for 1 ms load

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Figure 15: Displacement history at the mid-length of column for 10 ms load

Figure 16: Support reaction history for 10 ms load

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Figure 17: Displacement history at the mid-length of column for 50 ms load

Figure 18: Support reaction history for 50 ms load

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References

Biggs, J. M. (1964). "Introduction to structural dynamics." McGraw-Hill New York.

Chopra, A. K. (2007). "Dynamics of structures : theory and applications to earthquake


engineering." Prentice Hall, NJ, USA.

Whittaker, A. S., and Aref, A. (2010). "CIE 500B, Blast engineering class notes."

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