Omega 23 - Resistance of industrial structures to impact from projectiles of accidental origin


This report is a summary of the current scientific knowledge reviewed by Ineris in order to determine the effects of projectile impact on concrete or metal structures found on industrial sites: fire tanks that may disrupt response capabilities if destroyed, hazardous material storage (pressurized vessels, atmospheric tanks, pipework systems, …) or destruction of control rooms.

In the event of an industrial accident, an equipment explosion may produce fragments that, when propelled, may impact or even perforate nearby equipment and, as result, trigger a series of disastrous consequences called “domino effect”. Accidentology shows that this phenomenon may be the source of catastrophic accidents and lead to numerous casualties.

The purpose of this Omega reference report is to describe the phenomena and modelling tools that can be used to predict the structures behavior when damaged by a projectile:

  • Empirical correlations that are the most frequently used. They are built upon experimental databases used to establish relationships between penetration depth/perforation limit thickness and the main parameters of modelling (impact velocity, geometry/projectile dimensions, projectile characteristics, ...). This approach is suitable to evaluate the local effects generated by non-deformable projectiles impact on materials such as concrete, reinforced concrete or steel.
  • Analytical methods generally based on the resolution of the differential equations describing the system. They allow the prediction of the local response as well as the overall response on simple structure. This approach allows to not oversize the means of protection to implement compare to an empirical approach.
  • Numerical approaches based on finite element methods or discrete methods to combine the projectile and target responses and determinate more realistic simulations. This approach completes the above approaches for composite materials (i.e reinforced concrete) or complex structures.