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ABS Group Demonstrates Blast Test at World-Class Shock Tube Test Facility

May 10, 2017

The Extreme Loads and Structural Risk division of ABS Group recently conducted a tour of our world-class Shock Tube Test Facility for attendees of the 13th Global Congress on Process Safety held in San Antonio, Texas. The goal of the demonstration was to introduce colleagues to some of ABS Group's advanced capabilities and to provide them with an opportunity to be part of a controlled blast test at one of the largest-scale shock tube test facilities in the US.

Shock Tube Test

The ABS Group Shock Tube Test Facility in San Antonio, Texas, is used to test the blast capacity of structural designs in a controlled environment.

Shock Tube Test 2

The shock tube also has the ability to mimic vapor cloud explosion and pressure vessel burst blast waves.

Participants were given a tour of the state-of-the-art Shock Tube Test Facility including a discussion about shock waves, blast loading and testing. Following the tour, a live shock tube test was conducted to demonstrate the blast capacity of a specially designed blast resistant window. Peerless Products Inc., a well-known manufacturer of blast resistant windows, donated the test specimen for the demonstration. The window was loaded at the end of the shock tube and the system was charged with compressed air. Upon instantaneous release of the compressed air charge, a shock wave was generated, which, in this case, was tailored to match the blast wave from over 250 lbs of TNT. The ABS Group shock tube also has the ability to mimic vapor cloud explosion and pressure vessel burst blast waves.

After completion of the test, the participants examined the window, reviewed the high speed video of the test and discussed the response with our knowledgeable test staff. The window glass was deformed and damaged by design. Blast resistant windows utilize laminated glass and ductile frames to respond in a controlled manner. Energy is consumed as the laminate between the glass layers stretches along with the frame bending, all the while holding onto the hazardous glass fragments.

In addition to performing hundreds of blast tests for clients, ABS Group provides use of the Shock Test Tube Facility to the University of Texas at Austin's Civil Engineering protective structures program to allow graduate students to test physical models of their structural designs.

The Advanced Engineering division provides specialized services to evaluate explosion and thermal hazards for the Oil, Gas and Chemical sector and Government clients. ABS Group evaluates explosives operations for compliance with the US Department of Defense explosive safety standards and industry best practices. Our engineering staff quantifies and develops measures to manage risks associated with ammunition and explosives by providing protection criteria and design solutions to minimize serious injury, loss of life, damage to property and loss of mission.

Learn more about our services for Natural Hazards Risk Management, Explosion Effects Testing and Facility Siting.


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