PI: Clay Naito
Co-PI(s): Spencer Quiel
University: Lehigh University
The scope of the proposed work includes dynamic experimental testing of an innovative precast concrete insulated wall system. These wall systems are often the first line of defense in facilities vulnerable to explosive threats. In addition to providing resistance to blast loading, a layer of insulation sandwiched between concrete wythes provides exceptional thermal resistance, thus increasing the energy efficiency for a building envelope. A proprietary, polymer-based shear tie system is used to provide composite action in the panel while eliminating any localized areas of thermal bridging, which would decrease the overall thermal efficiency.

The wall system was developed through an NSF-funded study using state-of-the-art performance-based design practices, and the system was detailed to optimize both structural and thermal efficiency. The NSF study is moving toward commercialization with the help of a Pennsylvania company, ALP Supply, and the NSF GOALI program. ALP Supply is a developer and supplier of precast products and may license the technology once the research effort is completed.

Further research is needed to properly quantify the mechanics of the new wall system under dynamic loading. This project will investigate the behavior of the insulation and shear ties under high loading rates, validate the use of appropriate dynamic increase factors for simplified single-degree-of-freedom design methods, and provide updated design recommendations to comply with antiterrorism and petrochemical damage definitions and structural performance levels. Experimental dynamic testing will be performed on the wall system using a shock tube testing facility located in York, PA. Several panel specimens will be constructed, each strategically designed for varying levels of blast design response criteria. The global response of each specimen, including midspan deformation and reaction loads in addition to the slip generated between the concrete wythes, will be recorded using strategically placed instrumentation. The outcomes of the proposed work will foster improved design and construction techniques to provide safe and economic building envelopes for high-risk facilities.