Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Structural Damage and Occupant Safety Risks Due to Explosive Blast Loading


Dr Michael Netherton
► Mr Yufeng Shi
► Wing Commander Matthew Grant

Project Description

This is an Australian Research Council funded research project. The project is using probabilistic risk assessment techniques to predict damage and casualty risks arising from explosive blast loading on building facades and other structural systems. The project is developing a new probabilistic computational model   called "Blast-RF" (Blast Risks for Facades)  that considers threat and vulnerability uncertainty and variability via probability and structural reliability theory.

Current work is focusing on glazing, reinforced concrete and masonry. This allows the prediction of likelihood and extent of damage and/or casualties. The reliability analysis considers the variability of explosive material energetic output, pressure impulse, material properties, structural component dimensions, stand-off distance and explosive weight. The effectiveness and reliability of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) is also being modelled and assessed.

Blast-RF may then be used:

  • as a decision support tool to mitigate damage,
  • by emergency services to predict the extent and likelihood of damage and hazard levels in contingency planning and emergency response simulations,
  • in collateral damage estimation and weaponeering by military planners, or
  • in post-blast forensics.

Selected Publications

  • Stewart, M.G., Netherton, M.D. and Rosowsky, D.V. (2006), Terrorism Risks and Blast Damage to Built Infrastructure, Natural Hazards Review, ASCE, 7(3):114-122.
  • Stewart, M.G. and Netherton, M.D. (2008), Security Risks And Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Glazing Subject to Explosive Blast Loading, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 93(4):627-638.
  • Netherton, M.D. and Stewart, M.G. (2009), The Effects of Explosive Blast Load Variability on Safety Hazard and Damage Risks for Monolithic Window Glazing, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 36(12):1346-1354.
  • Netherton, M.D. and Stewart, M.G. (2010), Blast Load Variability and Accuracy of Blast Load Prediction Models, International Journal of Protective Structures. 1(4):543-570.
  • Stewart, M.G., Netherton, M.D., Shi, Y., Grant, M. and Mueller, J. (2012), Probabilistic Terrorism Risk Assessment and Risk Acceptability for Infrastructure Protection, Australian Journal of Structural Engineering, 13(1):1-17.
  • Grant, M. and Stewart, M.G. (2012), A Systems Model for Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Improvised Explosive Device Attack, International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, 5(1): 75-93.