Research Papers

Experimental Validation of Metaconcrete Blast Mitigation Properties

[+] Author and Article Information
Deborah Briccola

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Politecnico di Milano,
Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32,
Milano 20133, Italy
e-mail: deborah.briccola@polimi.it

Michael Ortiz

Engineering and Applied Sciences Division,
California Institute of Technology,
1200 California Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91125
e-mail: ortiz@aero.caltech.edu

Anna Pandolfi

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Politecnico di Milano,
Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32,
Milano 20133, Italy
e-mail: anna.pandolfi@polimi.it

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received September 29, 2016; final manuscript received November 14, 2016; published online December 1, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Weinong Chen.

J. Appl. Mech 84(3), 031001 (Dec 01, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: JAM-16-1480; doi: 10.1115/1.4035259 History: Received September 29, 2016; Revised November 14, 2016

We provide experimental evidence of the mitigation properties of metaconcrete under blast loading. Mitigation is achieved through resonance of engineered aggregates consisting of a heavy and stiff core coated by a light and compliant outer layer. These engineered aggregates replace the standard gravel in conventional concrete. To assess experimentally the attenuation properties of metaconcrete, we have cast two batches of cylindrical specimens. The mortar matrix of the first batch consists of cement combined with a regular sand mix, while the mortar matrix of the second batch consists of cement combined with sand mix, fine gravel, and polymeric fibers. One of the specimens of each batch was cast with no aggregates, while the other two contained 40 and 60, respectively, randomly arranged 22 mm diameter commercially available computer mouse balls. We performed nondestructive dynamic tests by applying a 10 V amplitude periodic signal to one end of the specimens and measuring the amplitude of the transmitted signal received at the other end. We observed a remarkable 2 order of magnitude reduction in the amplitude of the transmitted signal in metaconcrete relative to conventional concrete.

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Fig. 1

(a) Schematic of a resonant aggregate showing the dimensions of core and coating and (b) example of metaconcrete aggregate (computer mouse ball) made of a steel core with a polymeric compliant coating

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Fig. 2

(a) Portland cement and sand mix batch and (b) a metaconcrete specimen before removal from the plastic mold

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the hypothetical spatial arrangement of the inclusions within the specimens: perspective view, horizontal section, and vertical section

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Fig. 4

The two batches of specimens: (a) type 1 mortar and (b) type 2 mortar

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Fig. 5

(a) Setup of the experiment, showing the specimen set vertical between the two transducers and the additional weight on top and (b) schematic of the four different configurations of the tests

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Fig. 6

Average amplitude and error in mV of the transmitted signal as a function of the excitation frequency. The shaded zone indicates the estimated range of resonant frequencies. (a) Concrete of type 1, four tests and (b) concrete of type 2, eight tests.

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Fig. 7

Energy transmission coefficient plotted against frequency of excitation for a metaconcrete slab consisting of 1 mm nylon coated lead aggregates. Also, shown are the corresponding transmission coefficients for a homogeneous slab along with the resonant frequencies of the inclusion from both Eq. (1) (dashed line) and a finite-element modal analysis (four dashed–dotted–dotted line) [3].



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