Pressure-impulse diagram method: a fundamental review

Leon Chernin*, Margalite Vilnay, Igor Shufrin, D Cotsovos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    188 Downloads (Pure)


    Accidental and deliberate explosions stemming from catastrophic events in the petroleum industry, incidents during complex manufacturing processes, mishandling or failure of domestic gas appliances or installations, terrorist attacks and military engagements, are becoming increasingly relevant in structural design. Pressure‐impulse (P‐I) diagrams are widely used for the preliminarily assessment and design of structures subjected to such extreme loading conditions. A typical P‐I diagram provides information concerning the level of damage sustained by a specific structural member when subjected to a blast load. This paper presents a state‐of‐the‐art review describing the development of the P‐I diagram method over the last 70 years, the main assumptions upon which its development is based and the framework through which such the method is applied in practice. The structural analysis methods used for the derivation of P‐I curves are discussed and the existing approaches are categorised according to algorithms used. A review of the P‐I curve formulae proposed to date is performed, where the formulae are classified according to the formulation methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-69
    Number of pages15
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering and Computational Mechanics
    Issue number2
    Early online date4 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • Pressure‐impulse diagram
    • Blast load
    • Damage
    • Structural analysis
    • Classification


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