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Title: Predicting the Response of Concrete Barriers to Rigid Projectile Impacts Using AEM

Author(s): Tarek Kewaisy, Ayman Elfouly, and Ahmed Khalil

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 347


Appears on pages(s): 59-84

Keywords: Predicting; Rigid Projectile; Impact; Penetration; Damage; Concrete; Barrier; Applied Element Method (AEM); Extreme Loading for Structures (ELS)

DOI: 10.14359/51732658

Date: 3/1/2021


For protective construction applications involving high-velocity projectile impacts, design engineers rely on properly designed reinforced concrete barriers to provide the necessary resistance to penetration. Typically dynamic testing, analytical, semi-empirical and/or computational approaches are called upon to properly handle this highly complex physical problem. The presented research evaluates the use of Applied Element Method (AEM), implemented in Extreme Loading for Structures (ELS) software, to predict the localized damage and penetration of concrete slabs due to high-velocity normal impacts of rigid projectiles. Two validation cases were considered involving different concrete and reinforcing rebar material properties and projectile impact velocities. The applicability of AEM simulations was validated by comparing predicted damage and projectile penetrations to corresponding observations and measurements obtained during impact testing. A limited parametric study including seven analytical cases was performed to investigate the effects of varying concrete strengths, reinforcement arrangements and concrete thickness on the penetration resistance of concrete targets. To achieve this, three concrete classes; Normal Strength Concrete (NSC), Medium Strength Concrete (MSC) and High Strength Concrete (HSC), three reinforcement configurations (unreinforced, single-layer/ larger bar, double-layers) and larger thickness were considered. The application of the engineering-oriented AEM/ ELS software was found to provide impact response predictions that are in good agreement with physical test results. The results of the parametric study confirmed the advantages of using higher concrete strengths and higher reinforcement ratios in improving the penetration resistance and reducing the scabbing damage of reinforced concrete barriers.