Civil Engineers Simulate Explosion Waves via Computer

Researchers from the Technical University of Munich have developed a detonation model based on real city data to predict and minimize possible damage by explosions of bombs of World War II. Through assassinations the simulations will help also to threats limit the damage and save lives.They were built to bring destruction: bombers of the second world war. Though the war is long over, again and again, construction workers encounter explosive remnants. Their destructive power have not lost: If a bomb is found, it must be disarmed. And if that doesn’t work, is the controlled destruction.

But what exactly is checked there? What forces will be free and damage caused by the detonation waves of people and buildings? And how to increase the security of citizens? A group of scientists,  Prof. Martin Mensinger: Chair of Metal Construction of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) went to these questions now. Funded by the Federal Ministry of education and research project “Procedure for analysis of detonation effects in urban areas”, short DETORBA, they are researching ways to better predict damage from detonation waves on structures with new simulation methods. They are supported by various companies, engineering firms and the city of Frankfurt am Main.

Building Civil Engineers set back detonation waves simulator

Explodes a bomb in a built-up area, when the pressure wave generated by her is reflected by the surrounding buildings, part several times. The individual waves and reflections are superimposed: the effects are not only stronger but heavier predictable: already simple building forms, so the scientists, make for complex interactions.
Yet accurately predict the effects, the engineers developed realistic models. For that, they relied on high-resolution 3D city models based on the data of geographic information systems. This computer-aided simulation, the group can predict relatively precisely where damage of which scale in the respective construction are to be expected. They assess the risk for people who reside in the close to detonation.

Simulations help rescuers at work

With the help of their simulations, the researchers allows to quickly create hazard maps for threats by bombs. This must not necessarily be a discovery of World War II: even bombings and terrorist attacks are the threat scenarios. Rescue workers should be enabled in case of emergency by the simulations in order to identify vulnerable points and possible escape routes in advance and to react accordingly. Evacuations can be performed also targeted with these cards.

Civil Engineers Simulate Explosion Waves via Computer
TUM researchers have created a simulation model to the blast wave propagation at the detonation of the unexploded in Munich in the year 2012. Photo: TUM

Engineers but not satisfied, gave themselves to reflect possible damage, but also looking for ways to minimize it by coordinated construction measures. To go in deeper detail, combining their computer simulation with mechanical models turned out that pillars and supports the less affected are drawn are flexible. It is for instance ideal to attach support hinged on the Foundation, if possible even still slightly below the ground surface. Pure recommendations researchers don’t leave it at that, but get things done directly: “We develop this special supports in steel concrete composite construction”, said structural engineer Stefan Trometer as this.

Munich have painful experience with controlled demolition

How important is an exact knowledge of the possible damage in the run-up to may know, making the appropriate arrangements just Munich from their own bitter experience. In August 2012, had a bomb from the second world war can be not defused and had to be blown up. Most despite window panes, fell tiles from the walls and flying straw, set for the insulation to the bomb, partially carried into the flames in the building. For a long time after the explosion not all damage was eliminated and many of those affected are still suffering the economic consequences.