The manufacture, transportation, and storage of explosives in Canada and around the world pose serious challenges to explosives regulators and inspectors tasked with ensuring the safety of nearby populations. Explosives are routinely transported through, and manufacturing and storage facilities are often located close to, populated areas and traffic routes. This proximity increases the risk of severe casualties and infrastructure damage if there is an accidental or deliberate explosion. Even though an explosion is unlikely, the consequences can be severe. Several accidents that have involved explosives are discussed in the literature. These accidents highlight the devastation likely to result from an explosion and underscore the importance of finding cost-effective solutions to mitigate the effects on the population and infrastructure. This paper presents a research program designed to investigate the effectiveness of suppressive shield containers in reducing the blast pressure outside the container and eliminating fragment hazards from an explosion. Several types of suppressive shield panels, including panels lined with aluminum foam, were tested in a blast chamber. The results show reduced peak blast pressure outside the container by as much as 60% and in the incident impulse by about 58%. When the suppressive shield was lined with aluminum foam, a further reduction in peak incident pressure (up to 80%) was achieved.

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Elshafey, M. (Mohamed), Braimah, A, Halim, A.O, & Contestabile, E. (Ettore). (2012). Aluminum foam-lined suppressive shields for safe transport of explosives. doi:10.3141/2288-11