Blast Protection &

Progressive Collapse

Progressive Collapse

When a structure is subjected to a blast wave resulting from an accidental or intentional explosion on the outside of the building, the skin of the building is subjected to extreme high pressures that may blow the exterior and windows into the occupied spaces of the building. During these events, the building elements can become deadly shrapnel and increase the damage of such event. Cable Catchment systems are Engineered Blast Mitigation systems that are designed to limit the consequences of a blast. This is done by limiting the size and amount of elements that are susceptible to being propelled into the occupied space.

A catchment system is made of cables pitched to limit the size of the potentially projected façade elements and can be combined with a steel mesh to create a net that can catch blocks and large debris while allowing the energy and limitation of forces applied to the building frame/structure to dissipate. The main advantage of such an application is the fact that it makes existing façade and window systems (including historical structures) safer without replacement or an upgrade. Using high strength materials and hardware derived from its vehicular restraint systems, BCSI can design and implement Cable Catchment Systems adapted to each specific structure and client need

Barrier Cable

Progressive Collapse Mitigation / Alternate Load Paths

The principal risk factor that leads to a potential progressive collapse of structures is the accidental or intentional removal of a load-bearing element such a column. In order to prevent the possible disastrous effects of such a systemic structure failure (domino effect) it is essential to engineer redundant load paths into the structure so it can find stability (although it may be damaged beyond repair) for a time sufficient to evacuate the occupants and prevent catastrophic loss of life.

High strength steel cables are an optimal tool in Progressive Collapse Mitigation. Their extremely high strength to weight ratio allows strengthening of structures by creating a truss mechanism without significant addition of weight and in the most cost effective manner.

The GIF to the right illustrates one way to achieve the stabilization of a structure with high strength cables in the event of perimeter columns being significantly damaged by an event.