The University of Wollongong has unveiled The National Facility for Physical Blast Simulation (NFPBS), a collaboration of eight Australian universities and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and supported by the ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme.

The largest of its kind in the world at 3,000 square metres, the NFPBS facility will allow systematic, highly-controlled blast experiments at much lower cost, greater safety and higher fidelity than field trials. It will enable researchers to better understand blast behaviour, which will lead to improved security and safety of infrastructure.

The simulation facility may also be used with replica models of the human body to better understand what happens, particularly to the brain, in the milliseconds after it is hit by an explosive blast-wave. With thousands of military personnel having experienced the effects of blasts, researchers want to know what the immediate and long-term effects are on the body.

Traditionally, blast-resistant designs have been based on observations of actual explosive testing, which can be dangerous, expensive and uncertain in nature.

Youtube video:  National Facility for Physical Blast Simulation Official Launch 2018
Credit: University of Wollongong I Travis Marshall

Image: Professor Brian Uy, The University of Sydney, and Professor Alex Remennikov, University of Wollongong, beside the new LIEF-funded blast simulator. The facility will allow systematic, highly controlled blast experiments at much lower cost, greater safety and higher fidelity than field trials.
Credit: Paul Jones, University of Wollongong.