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Nonlinear Fluid-Structure Interaction in a Flexible Shelter under Blast Loading
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Recently, numerous flexible structures have been employed in various fields of industry. Loading conditions sustained by these flexible structures are often not described well enough for engineering analyses even though these conditions are important. Here, a flexible tent with an interior Collective Protection System, which is subjected to an explosion, is analyzed. The tent protects personnel from biological and chemical agents with a pressurized liner inside the tent as an environmental barrier. Field tests showed unexpected damage to the liner, and most of the damage occurred on tent's leeward side. To solve this problem, various tests and analyses have been performed, involving material characteristics of the liner, canvas, and zip seals, modeling of the blast loading over the tent and inside the tent, and structural response of the tent to the blast loading as collaborative research works with others. It was found that the blast loading and the structural response can not be analyzed separately due to the interaction between the flexible structure and the dynamic pressure loading. In this dissertation, the dynamic loadings imposed on both the interior and the exterior sides of the tent structure due to the airblasts and the resulting dynamic responses were studied. First, the blast loadings were obtained by a newly proposed theoretical method of analytical/empirical models which was developed into a FORTRAN program. Then, a numerical method of an iterative Fluid-Structure Interaction using Computational Fluid Dynamics and Computational Structural Dynamics was employed to simulate the blast wave propagation inside and outside the flexible structure and to calculate the dynamic loads on it. All the results were compared with the field test data conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory. The experimental pressure data were gathered from pressure gauges attached to the tent surfaces at different locations. The comparison showed that the proposed methods can be a good design tool to analyze the loading conditions for rigid or flexible structures under explosive loads. In particular, the causes of the failure of the liner on the leeward were explained. Also, the results showed that the effect of fluid-structure interaction should be considered in the pressure load calculation on the structure where the structural deflection rate can influence the solution of the flow field surrounding the structure.
- Doctoral Dissertations