Review of methods to attenuate shock/blast waves

O. Igra, J. Falcovitz, L. Houas, G. Jourdan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Quick and reliable shock wave attenuation is the goal of every protection facility and therefore it is not surprising that achieving this has drawn much attention during the past hundred years. Different options have been suggested; their usefulness varying from a reasonable protection to the opposite, a shock enhancement. An example for a suggestion for shock mitigation that turned out to be an enhancement of the impinging shock wave was the idea to cover a protected object with a foam layer. While the pressure behind the reflected shock wave from the foam frontal surface was smaller than that recorded in a similar reflection from a rigid wall [25], the pressure on the protected surface, attached to the foam's rear-surface, was significantly higher than that recorded in a similar reflection from a bare, rigid wall [11]. In protecting humans and installations from destructive shock and/or blast waves the prime goal is to reduce the wave amplitude and the rate of pressure increase across the wave front. Both measures result in reducing the wave harmful effects. During the past six decades several approaches for achieving the desired protection have been offered in the open literature. We point out in this review that while some of the suggestions offered are practical, others are impractical. In our discussion we focus on recent schemes for shock/blast wave attenuation, characterized by the availability of reliable measurements (notably pressure and optical diagnostics) as well as high-resolution numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalProgress in Aerospace Sciences
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Attenuation of shock/blast waves
  • Shock propagation in two-phase media
  • Shock/blast wave interaction with obstacles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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