At a glance
In the event of a terrorist attack involving explosives or of an exceptional natural or man-made disaster, it is important that critical structures survive and maintain a certain level of functionality. If adequate provisions against abnormal loads, such as blast, explosion, impact, have been taken in the design stage, it is possible that catastrophic consequences are contained and subsequent major disasters avoided or effectively mitigated.
The action will thus focus on the reduction of the risk of catastrophic structural failures in critical structures subjected to intentional attacks or other unforeseen events through the development of appropriate strategies and hardening techniques.
Extensive computer simulation techniques and selective laboratory testing will be used. Vulnerabilities of building and other civil engineering works will be identified and classified via proper material modeling, structural mechanics and numerical simulation techniques. Attainment of robustness and the associated problem of progressive collapse avoidance, in case of local structural failure, will be considered. Injuries due to flying debris and blast wave effects on humans will also be investigated in confined urban areas, such as city centres and train and subway stations.
It is considered that such basic information is a prerequisite for a comprehensive vulnerability analysis of larger complexes and infrastructure networks. To this end it will be attempted to assess network vulnerability in terms of the functional importance of its nodes and lines, and the topological properties of representative transport networks will be examined.