Contact Charge Blast Performance of Fiber Reinforced and Polyurea Coated Concrete Vehicle Barriers

Open Access
Coughlin, Andrew M
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 15, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Andrea Schokker, Thesis Advisor
  • Daniel Linzell, Thesis Advisor
  • fiber reinforced concrete
  • barrier
  • blast
  • concrete
  • polyurea
Among the measures used to protect personnel from terrorist attacks are massive concrete vehicle barriers which form a perimeter around the protected establishment. Typical concrete barriers can be brittle and will break apart easily when exposed to a close-in blast. Fiber reinforced cementitious composites (FRCCs) can be used to overcome this drawback since fibers in a concrete mix carry tensile forces that keep fragments from breaking off. Another promising solution is a polymer coating, such as polyurea, which can introduce added ductility and contain fragments of concrete from flying away. Full scale barriers of traditional concrete, two fiber reinforced concretes, two fiber volumes of high performance fiber reinforced cementitious composite, and polyurea coated concrete were tested under contact charge blast loads to assess their performance against a known threat. The fiber reinforced concrete barriers performed much better than their fiberless counterparts with only 7-18% of material being ejected from the barrier compared to 41% in the control barrier. The 0.5 mm (0.02”) polyurea coating only slightly improved the performance of the barriers with 36% of material being ejected. An analytical model using the finite element code LS-DYNA was found to be able to predict crater dimensions and relative damage with reasonable accuracy.