Blast Damage Estimation

A Blast Damage Estimation is a structured process, utilizing explosives science and explosives engineering, to provide scientific evidence of the potential hazard or risk to individuals and property from direct blast effects. The estimation is based on an equivalent free-field explosion for the undesireable explosive event under evaluation, which has to be defined by the user.

This estimation does neither consider effects of debris or fragments orginated by the potential explosion site, nor threats stemming from collapsing structures. It does also not consider any shielding effects by barriers.

The Blast Damage Estimation tool provides some simple empirical correlations of explosion consequences from the detonation of a certain amount of explosives at distances of concern: Degree of damage to brick structures and windows, blast related injury levels and maximum effected range by ground vibration.

Damage to Windows of 4mm Thick Annealed Glass
Small Window 0.55m by 0.55m  
Medium Window 1.25m by 0.55m  
Large Window 1.25m by 1.55m  
Minimum Range to No Break (m)
Small Window  
Medium Window  
Large Window  

Ground Vibration (m)
Maximum Effected Range
Injury/Fatality to Personnel Range (m)
Fatal Distance
Lung Damage
Eardrum Rupture
Damage to Brick Structures (m)
Houses completely demolished
Houses badly damaged, beyond repair, require demolition
Houses rendered uninhabitable, can be repaired with extensive work
Houses rendered uninhabitable, can be repaired reasonably quickly
Houses require repairs, serious inconvenience but remain habitable

The nature of ammunition and explosives with their potential for unplanned, violent reaction makes it necessary to develop recommendations and guidelines for safe conventional ammunition management stockpile management. This requires, by necessity, a risk-based approach, which should be based on sound explosive engineering and science. This requires knowledge of the range of scientifically accepted formulae that can be used to support decision-making and risk management during conventional ammunition stockpile management.
With the Blast Damage Estimation tool The SAFERGUARD toolkit provides a complete level-1 toolkit for level-1 risk assessment. A level-1 toolkit is based on the blast-data of a free field airblast. Consequences are modelled on simple empirical correlations using free field blast wave peak-parameters.


A level-2 toolkit is capable to provide simple modifications of the blast wave by structures (PES, barricades, ES). It is also capable to provide information on PES-related debris based on empirical correlations. The blast wave is not only characterized by peak-values but also the decay of the blast wave is taken into consideration on calculations. Empirical correlations are used for calculation where detailed physical modelling cannot be realized properly with reasonable efforts due to complexity. IATG 1.80 provides all information necessary for implementation of a level-2 toolkit.

Attention! Keep in mind that the direct blast effects are only one part of the effects of an undesirable explosive event and for full evaluation of the risk also the effects by fragments and debris have to be considered, which frequently are the dominating effect.
The national authority should formally accept this risk to the general public if current storage levels are to be maintained.