Journal Published Online: 12 January 2005
Volume 28, Issue 2

Blast-Induced Stress Wave Propagation and Attenuation: Centrifuge Model Versus Prototype Tests



This paper presents results of centrifuge model studies and full-scale field (prototype) studies designed to provide insights into the influence of water content and the degree of saturation during compaction and testing on high-strain rate loading response of medium dense sand. Objectives of the study were to determine the influence of moisture content at the time of compaction on blast-induced ground shock and stress wave propagation and to compare centrifuge model explosive tests with prototype explosive tests. Model testing was conducted using a geotechnical centrifuge to simulate prototype testing conducted at a field explosives test site. Centrifuge models were constructed at scales of 1/26.3 and 1/18.9 and tested at acceleration levels of 26.3 and 18.9 times earth's gravity. Explosives consisting of 3.50 × 10−4 kg (350 mg) and 1.031 × 10−3 kg (1031 mg) of PBX 9407 were buried at depths of 76 mm and 54 mm, respectively. These scaled model tests simulated prototype tests in which 7-kg TNT equivalent explosive charges were detonated at a depth of 1.4 m. Specimens were compacted to a dry density of 1635 kg/m3 at degrees of saturation ranging from 0 to 60 % (water contents from 0 to 14.4 %). Centrifuge model tests and the prototype tests showed similar results. Peak particle velocity, peak stress, and peak scaled acceleration were found to be a function of the degree of saturation with the lowest values at 0 % saturation. Lowest attenuation coefficients occurred in the sand compacted at degrees of saturation of 13 % for the centrifuge tests and 20 % for the prototype tests. Highest attenuation coefficients occurred in the sand compacted dry and at 60 % saturation for all the prototype tests and most of the centrifuge tests. Attenuation coefficients generally decreased with increasing seismic velocities.

Author Information

Charlie, WA
Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO
Dowden, NA
Terracon, Inc., Albuquerque, NM
Villano, EJ
URS Corporation, Denver, CO
Veyera, GE
Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Doehring, DO
Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO
Pages: 10
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Stock #: GTJ12007
ISSN: 0149-6115
DOI: 10.1520/GTJ12007