Ravi Mullapudi and Yavuz Mentes from MMI’s Houston Office have won a National Science Foundation contest on predicting the structural response of reinforced concrete slabs to blast loading.

The blind blast simulation contest was funded by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committees 447 (Finite Element of Reinforced Concrete Structures) and 370 (Blast and Impact Load Effects), and the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering. Entry was open to teams from industry and academia across the globe.

Each team was provided with the details of the experimental set-up and the blast loading monitored on the face of the RC panels.  The blast loading was simulated using a Shock Tube (Blast Loading Simulator) at the Engineering Research and Design Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The objective of the contest was to:-

  • compare differences between Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) and Finite Element Modeling approaches.
  • highlight the efficacy of available material models.
  • promote the development of material models for predicting the response of reinforced concrete structures under dynamic loads.

The competition was organized into four categories, applying FEA and SDOF methods to both normal strength and high strength concretes. MMI’s FE analysis was conducted using LS-DYNA and ABAQUS with SDOF analysis conducted using in-house tools. Results were submitted to the competition committee with no knowledge of experimental results or the results of other teams.

The competition committee team compared each team’s analytical results with the experimental results for different parameters such as the observed displacement time history at the central node of the back of the slab, magnitude and time of peak deflection, the final (residual) deflection of the slab and also the damage distribution on the back face of the slab.

MMI Engineering was informed that it had won in both finite element analysis and SDOF categories.