The usefulness of polystyrene aggregate concrete to absorb energy and to reduce contact loads during hard impact at low velocities has been investigated with a drop hammer impact rig. A solid shaped 31.6 kg cylindrical mass was dropped at velocities of up to 8 m/s on to polystyrene concrete blocks. These blocks had thicknesses of either 20 mm, 40 mm or 80 mm, and were rigidly supported on a concrete base. Three concrete mixes were used, resulting in compressive cylinder strengths that varied from about 4 to 12 MPa (with corresponding air-dried densities between 800-1300 kg/cu m). The impact load was recorded over the contact duration, typically 1.5-4 ms, with a load-cell attached near the front of the dropped mass. Final penetration depths were measured, results being compared to static penetration tests on similar polystyrene concrete specimens. Consideration is given to momentum and energy requirements in order to interpret the test results and to determine the energy-absorbing capacity for this type of concrete. Failure occurred by crushing in the impact zone, and the mix exhibiting the weakest crushing strength and highest degree of compressibility was most beneficial in reducing the contact loads, thereby minimizing potential impact damage to an underlying structure. (A)


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 225-239
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 89

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00606127
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1991 12:00AM