The early response of coated circular plates subjected to near-field underwater explosion in the experiment (Chen et al., 2015, Marine Structures, 40, pp. 247–266) is simulated using a numerical solver that coupling the Runge-Kutta discontinuous Galerkin method to the finite element method (RKDG-FEM), in which the interactions of the gas bubble, shock waves, deformable structures and cavitation are taken into account. The coupling procedure is based on the modified ghost fluid method with special treatments for the RKDG method. Good agreements are observed between the numerical results and the experimental results of the bare steel plate, the steel plate coated with rubber and the steel plate coated with foam. The calculations show that the soft coating material can reduce the pulse width of the pressure load and the foam coating has a superior protective performance.

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