Blast energy absorption in topological interlocking elastic columns

Yaron Schapira (Lead / Corresponding author), Leon Chernin, Igor Shufrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates blast dynamics of prestressed segmented columns assembled of osteomorphic interlocking elastic blocks without any binding materials or mechanical connectors. The unique ability of the interlocking structures to absorb and dissipate energy through the independent movement of their segments is analyzed using the nonlinear finite element method. The effects of the number of blocks, the axial prestress, the friction, and the level of interlocking between the contact surfaces on the flexural response and energy absorption capability of the segmented column are investigated parametrically. It is demonstrated that the detachments between blocks control the energy absorption capability of these structures. Therefore, the number of blocks, the axial prestress, and the level of interlocking (i.e., the parameters influencing the available detachment between blocks) define the response of this column to blast loads. Columns segmented into a greater number of blocks with lower prestress levels exhibit a higher damping capability but reduced column stiffness, which is usually undesirable in structural applications. A higher level of interlocking between the contact surfaces of blocks increases the damping capacity of the column without reducing its stiffness. The effect of friction is found to be insignificant for all cases considered. The effect of interlocking is small relative to the effects of prestress and the number of blocks. However, it provides an independent design parameter for the passive mitigation of blast loads.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalMechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures
Early online date6 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2022


  • Interlocking
  • blast loads
  • energy absorption
  • osteomorphic blocks
  • passive controlled structural mechanism
  • segmented structures


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