Structural Analysis & Retrofits

Building Occupant Vulnerability

Human Injury Modeling

The ultimate goal of upgrading a building for blast loads is to minimize the lethality of a potential explosion to the building’s occupants. BakerRisk has analyzed the risk to human injury due to blast effects using both analytical as well as experimental methods.


The state of the art in human body kinematic response simulation is represented by the MADYMO code, developed by TNO in the Netherlands. The human body is represented by a series of ellipsoidal 6-DOF segments connected by joints, each with a biofidelic representation of engineering properties such as mass, compliance, and rotational limits. Human response from impact of various types of bodies, whether rigid or flexible, can be directly calculated using MADYMO and can then be correlated to standardized injury levels using well-validated response criteria.

Hit by Wood Simulation


Because of BakerRisk’s extensive testing capabilities, we have also approached this problem experimentally by subjecting well-instrumented anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) to impact of debris produced by blast loads on typical structural systems. Tests can be run at various loading levels to develop data correlating injury level to the velocity of the debris. Because of the cost efficiencies of shock tube testing, a larger number of tests can be executed than for equivalent open-air explosive testing, leading to a better populated data set and consequently improved lethality models.

Blast Load Debris Characterization and Human Vulnerability Impact Testing