Strain Rate Sensitivity of Stainless Steel Corrugated Panels subjected to Blast Loading


strain rate sensitivity, blast loading, corrugated panels, stainless steel, Hopkinson experiments, numerical simulations

Background and Problem Statement

Blast barriers are integral structures in offshore topside modules to protect personnel and safety critical equipment by preventing the escalation of events due to hydrocarbon explosions. As such, blast barriers are expected to retain their integrity against any blast loading and subsequent hydrocarbon fire. In the offshore environment, the materials of choice for corrugated blast panels are austenitic stainless steels (e.g. 316L) or duplex stainless steels (e.g. 2205). Most of the blast walls currently installed in offshore structures have been designed using simplified calculation approaches such as the Single Degree of Freedom (SFOD) models, as recommended by offshore design codes and industry recommended practices. These simplified models, however, do not account for the strain rate sensitivity of stainless steels and hence may lead to and inadequate design.

Simulation of Corrugated Blast Panel

Objectives and Scope of Work

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the influence of strain rate sensitivity for stainless steels on the dynamic response of corrugated panels subjected to blast loading. To obtain an informed insight in these strain rate effects, the student is challenged to

  • Conduct a literature review on strain rate sensitivity of stainless steels
  • Study the design guidelines that govern material selection for corrugated blast walls
  • Perform an experimental campaign of Hopkinson tests to measure the dynamic behaviour of selected stainless steels
  • Extend the currently available SDOF models to account for strain rate sensitivity
  • Undertake Non Linear Finite Element Analysis (NLFEA) of corrugated blast walls


This thesis topic is open for one motivated student with a background in mechanical engineering or materials science, and an interest in numerical modelling of steel structures.

Apply for this thesis


  • Steel Construction Institute, An Advanced Single Degree of Freedom Model for Steel Members Subject to Explosion Loading: Material Rate Sensitivity, Fire and Blast Information Group Technical Note 10, FABIG10 (2002)