Resistant Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures

By Dennis M. McCann, Ph.D., P.E. and Steven J. Smith, Ph.D., P.E. The study of blast effects on structures has been an area of formal technical investigation for over 60 years. There are numerous texts, guides and manuals on the subject, with continuing research and technical reporting occurring at a brisk pace. However, there is limited guidance available in the literature on the direct application of established blast effects principals to structural design. Numerous efforts are under way to develop comprehensive guides and standards to fill this void. This article presents a general overview of key design concepts for reinforced concrete structures.
Trial 1: 8-Inch Wall 20 10 0
Blast Load Resistance (trial 1)

Force (kips)

-10 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 Time (sec) 0.35 0.4 0.45 0.5

Blast Resistance and Progressive Collapse

Trial 2: 10-Inch Wall

Progressive collapse-resistant design mitigates disproBlast Load 20 portionately large failures following the loss of one or Resistance (trial 2) more structural elements. Progressive collapse-resistant 10 design is system-focused, and is often divided into two approaches, direct and indirect. The direct method designs 0 the structural system to respond to a specific threat either by providing an alternate load path in the event of failure -10 of one or more members, or by specific local-resistance improvements of key elements. This method is similar to 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 0.45 0.5 blast-resistant design. The indirect method provides genTime (sec) eral systemic improvements to toughness, continuity and redundancy; tension ties are an example of an indirect de- Figure 2: Applied force and internal resistance time histories (using 2% damping). tailing technique. Blast-resistant design is element-focused. It enhances toughness, is v = ƒ0td/2m , where ƒ0 and td are shown in Figure 1 and m is the ductility, strength and dynamic characteristics of individual structural mass. Thus, in this response regime, the mass of the structural element elements for resistance to air-blast induced loading. This article is is the only system parameter that controls the magnitude of the devoted to blast-resistant design, though there is overlap with pro- initial motion of the system – the more massive the structural element, the less it will be excited by the impulse from the blast gressive collapse-resistant design. wave. In this regard, the greater mass of concrete structures can be What’s Special About Blast Loading? used to great advantage. This load response to a blast is significantly different from the load This article specifically f(t) addresses the affects of response to a seismic event, for which the natural frequency of the shock loading from air- structure, rather than the mass, is the primary factor in the response. blast. This type of load is fo Response Limits and Member Analysis applied to the perimeter The extreme nature of blast loading necessitates the acceptance structural elements of a building due to a high that members will have some degree of inelastic response in most explosive blast event ex- cases. This allows for reasonable economy in the structural design ternal to the building. and provides an efficient mechanism for energy dissipation. This also The pressure wave ap- requires the designer to understand how much inelastic response is t 0 plied to the building is appropriate. Greater inelastic response will provide greater dissipation td time characterized by short of the blast energy and allow for the sizing of smaller structural Figure 1: Idealized blast pulse with a peak duration and high in- elements, but it will also be accompanied by greater damage and, at intensity, f0 and duration, td some point, increased potential for failure of the element. tensity (Figure 1). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Protective Design Center (PDC) The blast wave duration, td , is typically in the range of 0.1 – .001 seconds. This is often much shorter than, or at most on the order of, the has developed response criteria for many typical structural elements natural period, Tn , of typical structural elements. For situations where in terms of maximum allowable support rotation, qmax , or ductility td < 0.4Tn (some sources advise td < 0.1Tn), the blast wave effectively ratio, mmax , as shown in Tables 1 and 2 (see page 24). These limits imparts an initial velocity to a structural element and the element were developed in conjunction with experts in the field of blast then continues to respond at its natural frequency. The magnitude of effects and are based on existing criteria and test data. The limits that initial velocity, for a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) model, can be correlated to qualitative damage expectations ranging from


Force (kips)

STRUCTURE magazine


April 2007

and R(x.33/ wp – – – – 25 damage with elements responding elastically to severe damage 3) Elastic rebound after reaching the maximum displacement: with elements responding far into the inelastic regime. deep elements have a span-to-depth ratio less than 4 e Reinforcement index wp = (A ps /bd)(f ps /f ´c ) f Values assume bonded tendons. page 25).85 8 qmax 2° 2° 4° 6° 6° – 1° 1° 1° 1° 1.7 0.7 4 qmax – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 1° μmax – – – – – 0.15 ≤ wp ≤ 0. connections and equivalent stiffness and x(t) is the displacement response. x(t) is the acceleration response. where Rm is the (thus providing greater margins against an actual blast that is larger maximum resistance.29/ wp – – – – 12 1 20 qmax 5° 5° 6° 12° 7° – 1.t) is the internal resistance as a function of time and design is achieved by selecting smaller members and allowing greater displacement. Assuming elasto-plastic material behavior. and Table 4 (see page 26) provides guidance often necessary to solve the SDOF equations of motion numerically.29/ wp 0. Army Corps of Engineers. Table 1: Maximum Response Limits for SDOR Analysis of Flexural Elementsa : : Expected Element Damage Superficial Moderate Heavy Hazardous Element Type Reinforced Concrete Single-Reinforced Slab or Beam Double-Reinforced Slab or Beam without Shear Reinforcementb Double-Reinforced Slab or Beam with Shear Reinforcementb Slab or Beam with Tension Membranec (Normal Proportionsd) Slab or Beam with Tension Membranec (Deep Elementsd) Prestressed Concretee Slab or Beam with wp > 0. The calibration process used for 4) Nonlinear dynamic SDOF analysis of the member the PDC limits incorporates mapping the idealized SDOF to actual 5) Comparing the calculated SDOF response with the response structural response.15 and Shear Reinforcementb Slab or Beam with wp < 0. reinforcing should always be provided so that the members can achieve 2) Plastic deformation after yield when deformation continues large.t) = Rm . where xm is the maximum displacement. use Superficial or Moderate damage limits to preclude collapse h Limiting width-to-thickness ratios for compact and noncompact sections are defined in ANSI/AISC 360 Developed from PDC-TR-06-08. limit and adjusting the trial member as necessary The undamped SDOF equation of motion is written: As noted above.2 40 Where a dash (–) is shown.8 0.t) = f (t) where f (t) is the blast load. The SDOF method assumes the response of the 2) Response limit selection member can be appropriately modeled as a single mode. inelastic deformations even if the intent is for elastic response without increase in resistance: R(x.5° 2° 6° 4° 8° 10° 10° 6° μmax qmax 10° 10° 10° 20° 12° – 2° 2° 3° 10° 8° 15° 20° 20° 12° – – – – 1 0. me is the equivalent or activated mass of the structural anticipated when designing members for blast response.15 and Shear Reinforcementb Slab or Beam with Tension Membranec.S. Protective Design Center. the resistance inelasticity.x(t)]. While member sizes can be scaled to match the 1) Elastic response until yield: R(x. STRUCTURE magazine 23 April 2007 . for load-bearing walls.5. where ke is the desired level of protection. Where greater protection is warranted. potentially even such that the response to the design blast is divided into three phases: threat remains elastic. larger members are selected.t) = ke x(t).30 Slab or Beam with 0.8 1 1 1 1 1 0. proper detailing of joints. Economy of element.25/ wp 0. Table 3 (see R(x. Single Degree of Freedom Response Limits for Antiterrorism Design. U.33/ wp 0. systems can be found in texts on structural dynamics. and should only be compared to responses determined 1) Blast load definition in that manner. on overall structural damage that the Department of Defense (DoD) Such methods and a more complete treatment of equivalent SDOF equates with varying levels of protection. draped strands and continuous slabs or beams g Values assume wall resistance controlled by brittle flexural response or axial load arching with no plastic deformation.t) = Rm – ke[xm .25/ wp – – – – 3 0. the corresponding parameter is not applicable as a flexural response limit Stirrups or ties that satisfy the minimum requirements of Section 11.8 0. provides a sampling of damage expectations for specific While closed form solutions exist for some simple load profiles.6 of ACI 318 and enclose both layers of flexural reinforcement throughout the span length Tension membrane forces shall be restrained by a member capable of resisting the corresponding loads and typically cannot be developed along a slab free edge d Elements with normal proportions have a span-to-depth ratio greater than or equal to 4. These limits are calibrated to an equivalent single degree of system Design (SDOF) model of the structural member with lumped mass and The design procedure includes: stiffness. it is structural components. October 2006.5° 2° 3° 3° 2° μmax – – – – – 0.5° 1. some amount of inelastic response is generally me x(t) + R(x.f (Normal Proportionsd) Masonry Unreinforcedg Reinforced Structural Steel (Hot-Rolled) Beam with Compact Sectionh Beam with Noncompact Sectionh Plate Bent about Weak Axis a b c μmax 1 1 1 1 1 0.9 0. neglecting 3) Trial member sizing and reinforcing contributions from all other modes.30 Slab or Beam with wp ≤ 0.

S.g example will be limited to design of Beam-Column with the vertical reinforcement. Columns Design critical columns to be able to span two stories.7 – 0.3 – 2 – 3 – at each face will be considered. rather than flexural deformation e Values assume wall resistance controlled by brittle flexural response or axial load arching with no plastic deformation. Single Degree of Freedom Response Limits for Antiterrorism Design.1 in 0 0.9 – 1 – 2 – 3 – Columnsc. the vertical reinforce. 3) Provide continuous reinforcing through joints.5. In addition to that article.4 in Displacement (in) 0. Detailing and Connections 1) Use special seismic moment frame details. 3) Transfer girders should be avoided in regions identified as having a high blast threat.9 – 1. Two dimensional resistance-displacement and displacement-time projections are also shown. for (rather than code minimum) strength load-bearing walls. particularly when using a weak beam approach. Walls and Seismic The wall is to be designed to resist 0.5 3 3. the requirements of Section 21.5° – 1.d the effects of a high explosive blast Non-seismic Columnsc.3 2 2. at a minimum. As an ini0. 2) Provide sufficient shear transfer to floor slabs so that directly applied blast loads can be resisted by the diaphragms rather than weak-axis beam bending.5 Figure 3: Three dimensional SDOF response histories for each trial section (using 2% damping). the bending and bStirrups or ties that satisfy the minimum requirements of Section 11.g tial trial.6 0.Limiting width-to-thickness ratios for compact and noncompact sections are defined in ANSI/AISC 360 tors (DIF) to account for the increased gUse connection shear capacity. or Beam-Column with 1 – – 4° – 4° – 4° attached to the primary structural fraShear Reinforcementb ming system at its top and bottom. Protective Design Center. 2) Avoid splices at plastic hinge locations. it is uncertain whether a structure intended for blast resistance will achieve the design intent.85 3° 0. Reinforced 1 – – 2° – 2° – 2° Since the wall is attached at its top and bottom.8 – 0.5 1 1. Without proper detailing.2 0. see computed. use Superficial or Moderate damage limits to preclude collapse f of materials and dynamic increase fac.5 3. Regions of (1) initial elastic deformation.1 0. rather than element flexural capacity. The January. an 8-inch thick wall with #4 reinforcing bars spaced every 6 inches Column (Axial Failure)d 0.6 of ACI 318 and enclose both layers of flexural span shear (yield) strength of a unit strip are reinforcement throughout thespiralslength c Seismic columns have ties or that satisfy.4 Time (sec) 1. in the event that lateral bracing is lost. to calculate ultimate resistance for analysis strength of materials exhibited under Developed from PDC-TR-06-08. as such this 1 – 3 3° 3 3° 3 3° Compact Sectionf. applying strength increase Chapter 9 for complete detailing requirements factors (SIF) to account for the actual dDuctility ratio is based on axial deformation.12. For aWhere a dash (–) is shown. Force (kip) Resistance (trial 1) Resistance (trial 2) Blast Load 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 (1) (1) (2) (2) (3) (3) 0.7 – 0. STRUCTURE magazine 24 April 2007 . 4) Used hooked bars where continuous reinforcing is not possible (particularly at corners).5 of ACI 318. general design and detailing considerations include: Beams 1) Balanced design often leads to a strong column – weak beam approach. and (3) elastic rebound are indicated on the resistance-displacement projections. Army Corps of Engineers.85 3° 0. 2007 STRUCTURE® article Concrete Detailing for Blast provides effective recommendations for concrete detailing.Structural Steel (Hot-Rolled) ment will provide the primary loadBeam-Column with path and blast resistance. October 2006.d 0. U.than the design blast).5° td = 50 milliseconds. with the intent that beam failure is preferable to column failure. Table 2: Maximum Response Limits for SDOF Analysis of Compression Elementsa Expected Element Damage Superficial Moderate Heavy Hazardous Element Type Reinforced Concrete Single-Reinforced Slab or Beam-Column Double-Reinforced Slab or Beam-Column without Shear Reinforcementb μmax 1 1 qmax – – μmax – – qmax 2° 2° μmax – – qmax 2° 2° μmax – – qmax 2° 2° Example Consider an exterior panel wall meaDouble-Reinforced Slab suring 12 feet tall by 30 feet long.85 3° Noncompact Sectionf.9 – 1 – resulting in a 12 pounds per square inch (psi) peak reflected pressure Masonry and a positive phase pulse duration.5° – 1. the corresponding parameter is not applicable as a flexural response limit each trial section.5 0 0. (2) plastic deformation. Unreinforcedc 1 – – 1.

the assessment of the response requires solution of the SDOF equation of motion. concrete and reinforcement essentially undamaged.7 kip/in. Rm = 10 kips for the 8-inch thick unit strip trial section. me = 2. SIF and DIF values for reinforced concrete design are suggested in Design of Blast Resistant Buildings in Petrochemical Facilities (ASCE 1997) and TM5-1300. giving a natural period of vibration of the equivalent SDOF of Tn = 2p me / ke = 0.). Proper detailing is the final critical component of the design process to ensure that the structural elements have sufficient toughness to achieve the desired inelastic deformations.4 inches with a permanent deformation of 1.1 inches. with two-dimensional projections of the resistance-displacement curves and the displacement time history.24 pounds-seconds2/inch.5 kip/inch.8 pounds-seconds2/inch. The relatively large mass of concrete elements provides an inherent resistance to impulsive loads. The effective stiffness in this case would be computed based on the center deflection of a simply supported beam. the moment of inertia used for the stiffness calculation is taken as the average of the gross and cracked moments of inertia. permanent structural damage None Moderate No damage Minor cracking (repairable by injection grouting) Substantial spalling None Heavy Local buckling of longitudinal reinforcement Substantial damage Lost Local buckling of longitudinal reinforcement Limited fracture and compromised anchorage at joint (load transfer maintained) Substantial damage Hazardous Fracture of longitudinal and transverse reinforcement Rubble Lost Global buckling Fracture and loss of anchorage at joint Rubble at core None No visible. The 8-inch thick unit strip trial section has an equivalent stiffness. Figure 3 (page 24) shows the SDOF response for each trial in three dimensions.▪ Table 4 and References on next page STRUCTURE magazine 25 April 2007 . Since the pulse duration and natural period are sim-ilar (i. connection to supporting beam intact except in the immediate vicinity of blast where localized separation is likely.05 sec/0. or a ductility demand just over 4. Hence. the analysis must be conducted again with a new trial section. Since both elastic and plastic response is anticipated. The lesser of the computed bending or shear strengths is used as the maximum resistance.057 seconds (sec. Using the same reinforcing steel spacing. Structures to Resist the Effects of Accidental Explosions (USACE 1990). The equivalent SDOF is then computed.1 inches with a permanent deformation after rebound of xp = 2. which exceeds the response limit for flexural members of qmax = 2.75.Issue Beam and Column Reinforcement Beam and Column Core Concrete Beam and Column Cover Beam and Column Stability Connection Reinforcement Connection Concrete Superficial No damage No visible.4 kips. The effective mass can be thought of as the portion of the total mass of the section that participates in the SDOF response. which is now within the response limit.7 inches and a ductility ratio of m = xm / (xm – xp) = 7. connection to supporting diaphragm action beam yields but fracture compromised for lateral is likely in vicinity of force resistance but provides blast resulting in localized stability for gravity force separation resistance fast load application rates.e. and the effective mass to 2. the equivalent stiffness to 53. Numerical solution of the equivalent SDOF with these parameters gives a peak displacement response of 1.Table 3: Qualitative Damage Expectations for Reinforced Concrete Elements Element . diaphragm action uncompromised for lateral force and gravity resistance. Slab Diaphragm Action Minor damage concrete Significant damage to and reinforcement. Figure 2 (see page 22) shows the applied force and internal resistance time histories for each of the trial sections. concrete and reinforcement. Numerical solution of the SDOF equation of motion gives a peak displacement response of xm = 3. Load (stiffness) and mass transformation factors may be applied to compute the effective mass of the trial section.0 degrees. Summary Reinforced concrete can provide substantial protection from even extreme blast loading.045 seconds for the new trial section.057 sec ≈ 1) in this case. increases the maximum resistance to 13. The peak displacement corresponds to rotations at the top and bottom of the wall section of q = tan-1 (xm / 0.1 degrees.5 times the elastic limit. permanent structural damage Hair line cracking in the vicinity of the blast. Structural design considerations include sizing members to provide an expected degree of deformation and associated damage and optimizing the structure to resist and transfer blast loads in a reliable manner. Rm. diaphragm action uncompromised for the lateral force and gravity force resistance None Minor spalling and cracking (repairable) Spalling of concrete cover limited to the immediate vicinity of blast. permanent structural damage No visible. Rotations at the top and bottom of the wall are reduced to 1. This results in a natural period of 0. A more complete treatment of mass participation and load-mass factors used to compute the effective mass can be found in Introduction to Structural Dynamics (Biggs 1964). but increasing the wall thickness to 10 inches.5 degrees. and an equivalent mass. in the elasto-plastic resistance function.5hwall) = 2. td / Tn = 0. ke = 27.

Smith. BakerRisk Project No.E. Reston. the component is not expected to withstand the same blast load again without failing. March issue. P. McGraw-Hill. Jon A. Component Explosive Damage Assessment Workbook (CEDAW) Methodology Manual V1.onset of structural collapse: major deformation or primary and secondary structural New York. (also Navy NAVFAC P-397 or Air Force AFR 88-22). 02-0752-001. Ph. Structural Design for External Terrorist Bomb Attacks. It only defines a realm of more severe structural response that can provide additional useful information in some cases. The authors wish to thank Professor Andrew Whitaker and Mr. Note 3: This is not an official level of protection. New York. and Smith. but repairable. [4] Mays.C. Low (LLOP) The component has not failed. McCann’s areas of expertise include failure investigation. New York. Army Corps of Engineers. frame collapse/massive destruction. the component is expected to withstand structural members. June 2005. the same blast load again without failing.S. Jon Schmidt for their contributions to the tables in this article. is a Principal Engineer in the Washington D. High (HLOP) Note 1: Department of Defense definition in terms of overall building damage. Thomas Telford.Table 4: Department Of Defense Damage Descriptions Level of Protection Below AT Standards3 (Blowout) Very Low (VLLOP) Potential Overall Structural Damage1 Severely damaged. D.. P. (2003). NY. but progressive collapse is unlikely. C. Smith’s areas of expertise include failure investigation and blast-affects on structures. VA.D. Washington. D. but there are no significant debris velocities.D. Structures to Resist the Effects of Accidental Explosions. Dennis M. (1993) Dynamics of Structure. [3] Clough. U. Army Corps of Engineers. Shown only for reference. little left Army Corps of Engineers (1990) TM 5-1300. although of non-structural elements and secondary structural replacement may be more economical and members and no permanent deformation in primary aesthetic. [2] Biggs. major deformation of non-structural elements and secondary structural members and minor deformation of primary structural members. McCann. prepared for Protective Design Center. but progressive collapse is unlikely. Dr. and risk/decision analysis. A separate correlation between component LOP and building LOP based in part on component type is necessary. He can be reached at sjsmith@ctlgroup. Components at each LOP do not necessarily cause the overall building to have the same LOP.0. [6] Schmidt. Component Damage2 The component is overwhelmed by the blast load causing failure and debris with significant velocities. J. but is outside the scope of this report. is a Managing Engineer in the Chicago-area office of Exponent. NY. STRUCTURE®magazine. Note 2: Definitions developed for CEDAW components. P.. Building is damaged beyond repair. John M. G. NY. U. collapse of non-structural elements. and Penzien. metro-area office of CTLGroup. McGraw-Hill. No visible permanent damage.S. 2nd edition. Building is damaged. [5] U. Heavily damaged . Superficially damaged. if necessary. STRUCTURE magazine 26 April 2007 . Inc. Dr. Ph.E. Steven J. (1964) Introduction to Structural Dynamics. no permanent deformation of primary and secondary structural members or nonstructural elements. He can be reached at dmccann@exponent. Ray W. minor deformations it is generally repairable. References [1] American Society of Civil Engineers (1997) Design of Blast Resistant Buildings in Petrochemical Facilities. A portion of the component has failed. (1995) Blast Effects on Buildings: Design of Buildings to Optimize Resistance to Blast Loading. structural dynamics. but it has significant permanent deflections causing it to be unrepairable.S. Medium (MLOP) The component has some permanent defection.