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Project Team:


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering;
University at Buffalo

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; University at Buffalo

Reza Rafiee

Graduate Student; Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering; University at Buffalo


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National Science Foundation


Development of Functionally Graded Protective Systems for Attenuation of Blast Loading

The aim of this research is to develop new architectures for resisting and mitigating the effects of impulsive loadings such as blast and high velocity impacts (BAHVI) using functionally graded protective systems (FGPS). The research approach combines theoretical concepts from wave propagation and nonlinear dynamics with a heuristic optimization methodology, based on genetic algorithms (GA), to develop protective systems that have spatially varying stiffness, density and damping. Hence, this research proposes to investigate functionally graded material systems, along with strategically allocated voids and solid or fluid inclusions for the objective of attenuating stress waves imparted on a structural system by BAHVI. To accomplish the research objective, numerical simulations to develop the FGPS will be conducted and followed by rigorous experimental investigation to validate their effectiveness to mitigate impulsive loadings and provide feedback for further enhancements of the FGPS.

The impact of the project is two-fold:

  1. It will lead to the generation of new knowledge associated with functionally graded materials and systems, along with the development of robust optimization tools that rely on coupling genetic algorithm methodology with finite element to tailor material architectures for mitigating blast and high velocity impact loading.
  2. The validated FGPS will enable engineers to readily apply the systems in structural systems vulnerable to blast and high velocity impact environment.