A series of tests was conducted on flat steel beams of various sizes and material properties, using sheet explosive to provide sufficiently high uniform impulsive loading to produce significant plastic deformation. The beams were attached to a ballistic pendulum for measurement of applied impulse, and were photographed with a Fastax camera during deformation. The resulting final deformations are compared with the rigid-plastic theory of Symonds and Mentel, which is seen to give upper bounds that are in general higher by about 20–30 percent than the deformations observed. A fairly good first approximation to maximum deflection for engineering purposes is in fact obtained simply by using rigid-plastic beam theory (including axial constraints).

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