Blast Hardened Desks


  1. Hlady, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
For decades American organizations like the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have recommended that people use desks or tables as shelter during natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes. Terrorist bombings have become a fact of life. In both cases-the natural disasters listed above, and terrorist bombings-flying debris and structural collapse figure prominently in the resultant human injuries and deaths. Hardened desks were developed to offer protection during natural disasters or terrorist attacks. The desks incorporate many safety features including a “Personal Protection Pod”. This report covers preliminary testing of blast hardened desks. Test 1 compares the response of a blast hardened desk with that of a standard, commercially produced office desk when explosives are detonated nearby. Test 2 was designed to measure pressures inside and outside the blast hardened desk safety pod. Test 3 tested the ability of the safety pod to withstand crushing force. Recommendations based on test results and testing conditions are discussed. Results show that a blast hardened desk holds together well when subjected to a blast; a standard desk, under the same conditions, is reduced to pieces and shards. The blast hardened desk also showed significant resistance to crushing force. These results indicate that blast hardened desks offer some protection from a blast and its aftermat

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Blast Hardened Desk;Personnel Protection;Human Vulnerability;Workstations
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TM-2004-284 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2004
Number of Pages

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