During the month of June 2016 GTD Engineering of Vancouver BC, carried out a series of field tests to investigate the performance of materials incorporating ABPS’ AIR Technology employed as vertical blast walls. President and Senior Engineer of GTD Engineering, HLCol. Geoffrey T. Desmoulin, Ph.D. designed and oversaw the testing at Bonetti Explosives’ facility in Columbus, Texas.
GTD Engineering are world leaders in biomechanics, incident reconstruction, and product safety. Their applied services specialise in research to evaluate existing products and new product development. With many years’ experience of scientific investigation and particular expertise in the analysis of injury biomechanics GTD are the ideal North American R&D partners for ABPS as we seek to exploit the potential of AIR Tech to reduce injury and save lives.
During a week-long testing period AIR Tech material was subjected to a series of scientific tests to determine the efficacy of our technology in a blast wall environment from a mechanical engineering perspective. AIR Tech panels were fixed to rigid target frames and subjected to blast loading from spherical test charges of 1.1 lbs plastic high explosive (C4). A vast amount of data was collated from pressure gauges, microphones, load cells and high-speed video captured utilising a Phantom v2511 camera from Vision Research. Identical tests were conducted against 5mm AMROX 440T steel and a panel formed of Spectra Shield (SR3136) as reference materials.
Results of the tests showed reductions in peak pressures between gauges located behind and in front of the blast wall for all materials, however this difference was significantly more apparent during ABPS panel tests. Furthermore, ABPS panel tests showed a more even distribution of power when examined in the frequency domain, with less power at lower frequencies, and smaller high frequency peaks from both pressure and microphone sensors. Finally, reflected pressure was minimized with ABPS panel conditions compared to mild steel, 440T and SR3136.
Spectral Power Density Reduction
GTD summarised the results, saying that “Designing the best protective measures to mitigate blast threats requires knowledge of emerging technologies and their effectiveness. This report details the effectiveness of the ABPS technology in the Blast Wall environment from a mechanical engineering perspective.”
The conclusion of this trial marks a significant step for AIR Technology on the technology readiness scale. Having transitioned to testing in a representative environment we have seen results equally as impressive as those obtained in previous laboratory testing. GTD’s work in Columbus clears the path for further development of an AIR Tech Blast Wall product and we look forward to developing working prototypes for the Defence and Security markets over the coming months.