Characterization of polymer-fiber composite sheet retrofits for blast mitigation
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The retrofit of existing structures to resist external explosions is becoming increasingly necessary. The use of thin sheets on the tension face of a wall is one of the viable methods for blast retrofit of infill wall systems. Previous research at the University of Missouri-Columbia utilized: thin sheets of polypropylene, steel, polyurea, polyvinyl-chloride (PVC), and spray-on-polymers. Current research uses a newly developed Polymer-Fiber Composite Sheet (PFCS) that exhibits desirable properties, such as large ductility and high strength-to-weight ratio. This thesis evaluates the feasibility of PFCS and bent plates for blast retrofit of CMU infill walls. To promote the widespread use of PFCS for blast retrofit, it is necessary to develop an engineering design and analysis methodology for predicting the dynamic response of a PFCS and CMU wall system. Therefore, the engineering properties of the composite sheets, the connection details, and a preliminary static resistance function for the PFCS are evaluated experimentally in this thesis. The research has focused on evaluating the load-deflection response of the PFCS at the macro level using full scale tension tests. The connection response in tension of bent plates used to anchor sheet retrofit to building floors is experimentally evaluated in this thesis. In addition, the response of connections and sheets under uniform transverse pressure is evaluated experimentally using a full-scale loading tree. The results show that the fiber architecture has a significant effect on the response of the sheet. Based on the results of this research, polymer fiber composite sheets are capable of sustaining large amounts of strain while maintaining moderate loads. Together, these two properties make PFCS a viable blast sheet retrofit.
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