The following is an excerpt.

CASA PhD candidate Vegard Aune presented some serious shock treatment of aluminium at the 11th International DYMAT Conference in Switzerland last week.

Aune’s PhD work is concentrating on the use of SIMLab’s new shock tube facility. In the actual study, he subjected low-strength, thin aluminium alloy plates to blast-loads.

21,000 frames per second

The shock tube is designed to expose materials and structures to extreme loading conditions, such as accidental explosions or terrorist attacks. The intensity of the loading in the present study was determined by the initial conditions of the compressed gas, i.e. volume and pressure, and the resulting loading on the target plate was compared to experimental data from explosive detonations found in the literature. The square plates were manufactured from a low-strength aluminium alloy and had an exposed area of 0.3 x 0.3 m2. Piezoelectric pressure sensors were used for pressure recordings and synchronized with two high-speed cameras operating at a frame rate of 21,000 fps in a stereoscopic setup to capture the dynamic response using a three-dimensional digital image correlation (3D-DIC) technique.

An easily controllable alternative

The experiment showed that the shock tube is capable of recreating a loading similar to that of an unconfined far-field airblast, and worked as an easily controllable alternative to explosive detonations when studying the dynamic response of structures subjected to blast loading.