Design and Construction of an In-Laboratory Novel Blast Wave Simulator

E. Kochavi, S. Gruntman, G. Ben-Dor, I. Sherf, E. Meirovich, B. Amir, G. Shushan, O. M. Sadot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: In spite of the worldwide recognition of the importance of testing blast effects on dummy humans, there is a lack of blast simulators that are capable of generating realistic blast conditions in the laboratory. Objective: The objective of the present study was to design, construct and test a blast tube that is able to accurately reproduce loading histories of actual explosions in the laboratory. Methods: The design combines some advantages of existing blast-wave generating facilities. Using numerical simulations, a 5-m long blast tube was designed. The blast tube is large enough to enclose dummies including torso and head, wearing vests and/or helmets. Results: The system generated blast waves equivalent to those of a spherical explosion of about 3.5 kg TNT with an over pressure of 0.64 bar and a positive phase of 4 ms. The repeatability of the experiments was very good. The blast tube’s open end is square of 1.57 m × 1.57 m and although designed for experiments on human dummies, it could be used for testing even full-scale structural components. High quality high-speed photography was demonstrated through the designed windows. Our preliminary study on the effect of a helmet on a dummy’s head revealed that the tested helmet amplified by a factor of 2 and more the peak pressure in the back side of the head. Conclusions: The newly designed blast tube is capable of simulating close range blast waves, manifested with short positive durations. Experiments with and without helmets revealed the importance of blast testing for improving helmet design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1159
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Blast Simulator
  • Blast Wave
  • Helmet
  • LS-Dyna
  • Shock Wave
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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