Portland Cement Association and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are conducting research to identify cost-effective, blast-resistant building
Portland Cement Association and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are conducting research to identify cost-effective, blast-resistant building systems for military construction. The research will be conducted on four of the most widely used commercial insulated concrete wall systems, including insulating concrete forms (ICFs), precast and tilt-up insulating concrete sandwich panels, exterior insulating cast-in-place walls, and insulated reinforced masonry veneer and cavity walls. Tests will measure the ability of full-scale wall panels to withstand external blast events.
The first wall system, a precast/prestressed insulated sandwich panel assembly, was evaluated this summer at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. Although test results are still being analyzed and evaluated, an inspection of the panels after being exposed to three blasts at decreasing stand-off distance showed minimal visual damage. Additional wall system evaluations are scheduled by year’s end. A second phase study will evaluate several unique concrete wall systems, while a third phase will focus on modifications to the Phase 1 and 2 products that would enhance their blast resistance but maintain cost effectiveness.
PCA co-funded the research with the Air Force and was assisted in providing the wall assemblies by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Tilt-up Concrete Association, Concrete Foundations Association/Concrete Home Council, Insulating Concrete Form Association, National Concrete Masonry Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Brick Industry Association, and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.