Concrete and Earthquake Engineering Research Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Briefing: UK Ministry of Defence force protection engineering programme


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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory sponsored, QinetiQ-led Force Protection Engineering Research Programme has two main strands, applied and underpinning research. The underpinning strand is led by Blastech Ltd. One focus of this research is into the response of geomaterials to threat loading. The programme on locally won fill is split into four main characterisation strands: high-stress (GPa) static pressure–volume; medium-rate pressure–volume (split Hopkinson bar); high-rate (flyer plate) pressure–volume; and unifying modelling research at the University of Sheffield, which has focused on developing a high-quality dataset for locally won fill in low and medium strain rates. With the test apparatus at Sheffield well-controlled tests can be conducted at both high strain rate and pseudo-static rates up to stress levels of 1 GPa. The University of Cambridge has focused on using one-dimensional shock experiments to examine high-rate pressure–volume relationships. Both establishments are examining the effect of moisture content and starting density on emergent rate effects. Blastech Ltd has been undertaking carefully controlled fragment impact experiments, within the dataspace developed by the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge. The data from experiments are unified by the QinetiQ-led modelling team, to predict material behaviour and to derive a scalable locally won fill model for use in any situation.

Publication details

Publication type: 
Journal article
Awarded by: 
Journal / conference name: 
Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering and Computational Mechanics
Awarded date: 
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