predicting-blast (1)

Blast effects within confined areas such as tunnel systems are very different from those in open spaces. DSTA developed a fast-running prediction tool named Blast Effects in Confined Areas (BECA) for users to determine the blast propagation and loading through different passageway geometries, enabling users to assess the vulnerability of critical systems to blasts within a confined area. 

Before BECA was derived, users depended on a prediction methodology that required them to look up a series of charts to derive location-based blast loads.For complex geometries that comprise many bends, expansions, constrictions and other junctions, the users had to look up even more charts. Besides being time consuming, the process was also prone to human error. It was also necessary to assess the accuracy of the charts to provide confidence in its appropriate usage. BECA automates the calculation and process of looking up the charts.

A comprehensive study was conducted to compare the results derived from BECA against those from high-end computational blast modelling software. The results from the study were translated into guidelines on when BECA could be used with confidence and when it would not be appropriate.

The study also revealed that the prediction methodology did not cover all the configurations that were required for the project. The team thus proposed additional configurations and performed analyses to incorporate them into BECA.

With BECA, users can obtain blast loadings for vulnerability assessment of critical systems with increased efficiency and accuracy. In addition, users need not be experts in using high-end blast modelling software in order to use BECA. This added capability will allow users to optimise the design of critical systems and make them more robust.