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Development, Verification, and Validation of an Applied Element Method Simulation Framework for Glass Lite Fracture, Fragmentation, and Debris Field Prediction

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This dissertation presents research that had the main goal of developing a physics-based simulation tool that was specifically able to predict the distribution of glass debris fields generated during blast events.


The author of this paper provides an in-depth description of a simulation framework for predicting glass lite failure probabilities and debris fields under blast loading is developed through implementation and extension of the relatively new Applied Element Method of structural analysis. The dissertation presents the four-phase process of developing the simulation framework, which involves verification and validation of software routines developed for simulating linear elastic static and dynamic behavior, nonlinear geometric behavior, nonlinear material constitutive behavior, and particle dynamics with element contact behavior. The author describes the successful verification of the predictive fidelity of the developed simulation framework for problems involving linear elastic behavior and nonlinear geometric effects, and validation of the predictive fidelity of the simulator for problems involving complex nonlinear behavior, including fracture, fragmentation, and debris field formation. The experimental test program includes six open-arena blast tests performed with a small enclosure featuring a conventional fenestration system outfitted with six conventional tempered glass lite specimens. In order to accurately predict the failure behavior of the glass lite specimens, the Applied Element Method was extended to simulate fracture and fragmentation of tempered glass, and was implemented with the Glass Failure Prediction Model, to predict the failure probabilities of the glass lite specimens under static loading and open-arena blast loading. The author concludes that implementation of the simulation framework to model the experimental scenarios of open-arena blast testing indicates that the Applied Element Method is capable of predicting debris field distributions that exhibit strong qualitative agreement with the observed experimental results.

Date Published: January 1, 2020