Pressure-impulse diagrams are commonly used in preliminary blast resistant design to assess the maxima of damage related parameter(s) in different types of structures as a function of pulse loading parameters. It is well established that plastic dynamic response of elastic-plastic structures is profoundly influenced by the temporal shape of applied pulse loading (Youngdahl, 1970, “Correlation Parameters for Eliminating the Effect of Pulse Shape on Dynamic Plastic Deformation,” ASME, J. Appl. Mech., 37, pp. 744–752; Jones, Structural Impact (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1989); Li, and Meng, 2002, “Pulse Loading Shape Effects on Pressure–Impulse Diagram of an Elastic–Plastic, Single-Degree-of-Freedom Structural Model,” Int. J. Mech. Sci., 44(9), pp. 1985–1998). This paper studies pulse loading shape effects on the dynamic response of continuous beams. The beam is modeled as a single span with symmetrical semirigid support conditions. The rotational spring can assume different stiffness values ranging from 0 (simply supported) to ∞ (fully clamped). An analytical solution for evaluating displacement time histories of the semirigidly supported (continuous) beam subjected to pulse loads, which can be extendable to very high frequency pulses, is presented in this paper. With the maximum structural deflection, being generally the controlling criterion for damage, pressure-impulse diagrams for the continuous system are developed. This work presents a straightforward preliminary assessment tool for structures such as blast walls utilized on offshore platforms. For this type of structures with semirigid supports, simplifying the whole system as a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) discrete-parameter model and applying the procedure presented by Li and Meng (Li and Meng, 2002, “Pulse Loading Shape Effects on Pressure–Impulse Diagram of an Elastic–Plastic, Single-Degree-of-Freedom Structural Model,” Int. J. Mech. Sci., 44(9), pp. 1985–1998; Li and Meng, 2002, “Pressure-Impulse Diagram for Blast Loads Based on Dimensional Analysis and Single-Degree-of-Freedom Model,” J. Eng. Mech., 128(1), pp. 87–92) to eliminate pulse loading shape effects on pressure-impulse diagrams would be very conservative and cumbersome considering the support conditions. It is well known that an SDOF model is a very conservative simplification of a continuous system. Dimensionless parameters are introduced to develop a unique pulse-shape-independent pressure-impulse diagram for elastic and elastic-plastic responses of continuous beams.

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