A key component of explosion hazard evaluations is the determination of standoffs to given blast overpressure values. Many such evaluations use a simplified methodology that assumes that the blast wave propagates from the explosion source to the target location without interacting with intervening buildings or structures (i.e., without blast wave shielding). This is obviously a perfectly acceptable approach for a screening study, but blast wave shielding effects can be significant in certain circumstances (e.g., within a building group). A methodology was proposed by the UK Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) in 2001 to account for blast shielding due to buildings/structures between the explosion source and target location. The HSL methodology is based on the blast waves generated by high explosives (HE). This paper extends the blast shielding evaluation to blast waves generated from pressure vessel bursts (PVB) and vapor cloud explosions (VCE). The influences of blast wave shape parameters (overpressure, duration and rise time) on blast wave shielding are examined. The results indicate that the degree of blast shielding is strongly dependent on the source of the blast wave (i.e., on the blast wave shape parameters) and that the shielding factors obtained with HE blast waves are not always directly applicable for PVB and VCE blast waves.

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