Force Protection

With increased threat of terrorism, force protection and blast proofing buildings against explosions has become interesting to the public and government agencies in recent years. Typical targets include government offices, military facilities, embassies, financial institutions, bridges, power plants, etc. In addition to these “man-made” intentional explosions, accidental explosion in chemical plants, refineries, etc. is also a major concern. In this case, the objective is to ensure that at least certain critical parts of the infrastructure such as the control room remain operational following an accidental blast or explosion. In all these cases, it is important that the resiliency of the structure is enhanced. There is growing global interest in owners of these facilities to have a measurable risk of how resilient their structures are.

A great majority of the existing built infrastructure does not meet the strength and ductility requirements under blast loading. Carbon FRP offers a solution for many such buildings. QuakeWrap® blast protection system has been tested in independent government laboratories and was found to be very effective in protecting the building and its occupants. Thin sheets of FRP (about 0.05 inch (1.3 mm)) are applied to the wall. QuakeWrap engineers will design the number of layers of the fabric, the orientation of the fibers and their anchorage to the nearby supports. These designs will be customized for each project depending on the size of the explosion. Our solutions have been implemented by the U.S. Army, United Nations and various industrial clients.

Features & Benefits

Advantages of force protection (blast retrofit) with FRP include:

  • Walls, floors and columns can be retrofitted with FRP
  • Minimal increase in member size (typically ½ inch (13 mm))
  • Repairs are fast and often completed in a few days
  • Finished installation can be coated, making it hardly visible

Articles & Papers

  • Fort Bragg Barracks Receives Pioneering Force Protection Retrofit (for Blast Loading) by Erin Barstow, Public Works Digest, May/June 2009, 28
  • Blast Loading Retrofit of Unreinforced Masonry Walls by Mo Ehsani, and Carlos Pena, Structure Magazine, April 2009, 16-19
  • UA Civil Engineers Blast Proof New UN Headquarter in Beirut by Pete Brown, University of Arizona Website, December 19, 2013