US 20050223651 A1
A blast-and projectile-impact resistant structure comprising a freight container which is at least partially clad internally and/or externally with a barrier structure comprising a single panel or a plurality of panels of matrix material incorporating reinforcement elements, the structure having means for human entry into and exit from the interior of the container located in a wall and, if necessary also in the barrier structure.
1. A structure comprising a walled freight container enclosing an interior volume of space, the container being at least partially clad internally and/or externally with a barrier structure, the barrier structure being constructed from plurality of interconnected panels of matrix material incorporating reinforcement elements, and means for human entry into and exit from the interior space of the container being located in a wall of the container and, if necessary for such entry and exit, also in the barrier structure.
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This invention relates to a structure, useful for storage or accommodation, comprising a freight container clad internally and/or externally with a barrier structure constructed from panels of reinforced matrix material.
There is a need for blast and/or ballistic (i.e. projectile) impact resistant storage or accommodation structures for use in battle zones or in locations near explosive hazard sites. One known type of structure comprises a metal container which is encased in poured concrete. According to European Patent Application EP-A-0233808, the metal container encased in this way may be a standard freight container (also called a shipping container) of the kind which is familiar for being transported on the trailer of an articulated road vehicle, on a rail wagon, on the deck of a container ship, or in the hold of transport aircraft.
Encasing a freight container in concrete has some drawbacks. For example, the container must be placed in a hole in the ground and the concrete poured into the hole, or formwork must be erected around the container to contain the poured concrete; it is often difficult to mix on site the large quantities of concrete required; the resultant encased structure is extremely heavy; poured concrete requires many days to harden to the extent necessary for blast or ballistic protection; and it may be difficult or impossible to arrange reinforcement in the concrete in optimal configuration.
The present invention aims to provide an alternative type of blast and/or ballistic resistant structure which is more convenient, more reliable and lighter than concrete encased freight containers.
According to the invention, there is provided a structure comprising a walled freight container enclosing an interior volume of space, the container being at least partially clad internally and/or externally with a barrier structure, the barrier structure comprising a single panel or a plurality of panels of matrix material incorporating reinforcement elements, and means for human entry into and exit from the interior space of the container being located in a wall of the container and, if necessary for such entry and exit, also in the barrier structure.
As used herein, the terms “walled freight container” or freight container” or “shipping container” or “transport container” all refer to the reusable articles of transport equipment in common use for transporting goods intranationally and internationally by road, rail, sea and air, liftable by mechanical aids such as grappler arm and fork lift machinery, particularly to transfer the container from one mode of transport to another.
Generally, the barrier structure will take the form of a wall or walls.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is a structure comprising a freight container in the form of a six-sided box having top, bottom, side and end walls, one end wall incorporating at least one door, at least the top, side and end walls including the door thereof being clad internally of the container with a barrier structure comprising a plurality of interconnected panels of matrix material incorporating reinforcement elements, the panels being fixed to the container walls, the structure being transportable as a unit.
The matrix material of the panel(s) of the barrier structure may be cementitious, ceramic, metallic or resinous. Cementitious matrix materials will often be preferred. An example is the DSP (“Densified systems with ultrafine Silica Particles”) matrix materials disclosed, e.g., in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,234,754 and 4,588,443 which are based on dense packing of cement particles with ultrafine silica fume particles in interstices between the cement particles. These binder matrices, e.g. mortar matrices, are made from a mix containing cement particles, ultrafine silica particles of a size which is typically about 1/100 of the size of the cement particles, water in a low amount relative to the cement plus silica, a concrete superplasticizer as dispersing agent, and sand and stone particles as additional bodies, often with added fibres such as steel.
The reinforcement elements present in the matrix material of the panel(s) of the barrier structure will often be of two geometric types, namely (a) elongated or sheet-like main reinforcement elements, generally orientated in the plane of the panel, and (b) secondary compact shaped reinforcement elements distributed in the matrix material surrounding the main reinforcement. In this context “compact shaped,” means shapes capable of fitting into domains of matrix material not occupied by the main reinforcement. Preferably both types of reinforcement (a) and (b) are present. Both types of reinforcement will normally be embedded in the matrix material of the panel, but this does not preclude parts of the reinforcement elements being exposed at the surface of the panel(s). The main reinforcement may be shaped as rods, wires, cables, interlacings of rods and/or wires and/or cables, meshes or nets, sheets or plates, or perforated sheets or plates. The main reinforcement may be of steel, titanium alloys, carbon fibre, Aramid (Kevlar) fibre, or a composite material such as fibre-filled resin. The secondary reinforcement may be shaped as lumps, for example of stone (including bauxite and korund) or metal, fibres, for example fibres of metal, carbon or synthetic resin, whiskers i.e. a plurality of fibres bundled together, and flake materials, for example of metal or stone. A hard coating may be applied to the reinforcing elements.
The barrier structure will preferably be designed to resist damaging perforation, translation, rotation and deformation under blast and/or ballistic impact forces. It may then serve to protect the interior of the container from the full extent of blast and/or ballistic impact forces applied externally to the overall structure, or to protect persons or objects outside the overall structure from the full effects of an explosion within the interior of the container. Thus, in one embodiment, the panel or panels of the barrier structure are supported by panel support means for reducing the deformation of the barrier structure in the direction of the interior of the container when the barrier structure is subjected to a force applied in that direction.
Many types of panel support means may be envisaged. The panel support means may simply be areas of the panel(s) which are locally thickened, for example to form a rib or pattern of ribs standing proud from one or both faces of the panel(s). The panel support means may also be constituted by locally densified and/or additionally reinforced domains of the panel(s). Such locally densified and/or reinforced areas may be regarded as “internal rib elements” forming an integral part of the panel(s).
Alternatively, the panel support means may be rib elements separate from the panel(s) but abutting, fixed to, or partially embedded in one or both faces of the panel(s). Such separate rib elements may be arranged in an interconnected grid, for example by being welded or bolted to one another, to form a rib lattice abutting, fixed to, or partially embedded in one or both faces of the panel(s). Separate ribs on each side of the panel(s) may be interconnected, for example by bolts extending through the panel(s). Furthermore, interconnection of separate ribs or rib lattices on adjacent panels may be the means, or part of the means, of interconnecting adjacent panels.
Another form of panel support means may be a network of rods, wires or cables abutting, fixed to, or partially embedded in one or both faces of the panel(s), or extending through passages formed in the panel(s) coplanar with the faces of the panel(s). Such rods wires or cables are preferably prestressed.
In most cases, the barrier structure will comprise a plurality of interconnected panels, which may be interconnected by discrete interconnection elements, or by means integral with the panels. Many types of interconnection means may be envisaged, but they may be considered as falling into two categories, namely those which connect adjacent generally coplanar panels, for example to form a wall, and those which connect panels at an edge along which the panels meet at an angle, for example a right angle.
In the case of the former type of connector, integral interconnection elements may be provided by matching profiles, for example tongue and groove profiling, or interlocking rebate profiling, along panel edges to be interconnected. Separate interconnection elements may be, for example, elongated plane metal forms such as an elongated flat metal plate running along the abutting edges of a pair of in plane panels, clamping the panels by means of bolts passing through the panels and plate. They may also be profiled metal forms having grooves running the length of each form, for example I- or S-profiled forms, such that the panel(s) slot into the grooves. Several such grooved forms may be welded into a lattice to receive and interconnect a plurality of panels.
In the case of the latter type of connector, integral interconnection elements may again be provided by matched profiling, for example interlocking rebates, or mitre profiles running the length of the edges to be interconnected. Matrix material binder may be applied to the abutting rebates or mitres to strengthen the joint. Retaining pins through the rebate- or mitre-abutted edges may also be inserted to strengthen the joint. Alternatively main reinforcement embedded in one or both of the abutting panels, for example rods embedded in the matrix material of the panel(s), may be inserted into matching recesses in the other panel(s), and if desired the projecting reinforcement may be sealed into the matching recesses with matrix material binder. Separate interconnection elements may be provided by, for example, elongated angle-profiled metal forms which clamp the angled abutting edges of the panels by means of bolts passing through panels and the metal form. Alternatively, the angle-profile forms may have grooves running the length of each form, such that the panel(s) slot into the grooves at the desired angles.
Any panel support means and/or discrete panel interconnection elements as discussed above may be formed from materials which are suitable for use in the anticipated high stress conditions of use of the structure of the invention. Metals, principally steel, will often be the preferred materials, but often matrix material incorporating reinforcement elements will also be suitable. In such cases, the matrix material and the reinforcement may be of the kinds discussed above in relation to panel matrix materials and reinforcement.
The weight of the overall structure may be supported in various ways, depending on the structure's orientation. For example external side panels of the barrier structure are preferably provided with means for anchoring them in the ground, such as retaining flanges, piles or spikes, which may be bedded in matrix material such as concrete or the matrix material of the panels. In that case, the panel(s) of the barrier structure may sit directly on, or be clamped by, the flanges, piles or spikes, or a rail may be supported on, or clamped by, the flanges, piles or spikes and the panels may sit on, or be clamped by, that rail. Alternatively, transverse beams may pass through the container adjacent its floor, and these beams may support the side panels of a barrier structure located internally or externally of the container. Such beams may also be anchored in the ground in the manner mentioned above. If the barrier structure protects the bottom wall of the container, its panel(s) may be supported by beams as just mentioned, and any side panel(s) of the barrier structure may be supported by the bottom panel(s)s or by those beams. Likewise, if the barrier structure protects a top wall of the container, its panel(s) may be supported by bolts connecting the panels to the roof wall of the container, and/or by beams passing through the container adjacent its top wall, and/or by any side panel(s) of the barrier structure.
Means for anchoring the overall structure of the invention in the ground impart stability to the structure as a whole, and provide means for diverting some of any blast and/or ballistic impact forces away from the container. Many different anchoring means may be envisaged. Flanges, piles or spikes have already been mentioned above, and these may be provided with barb elements to resist extraction from the ground or the matrix base in which they are embedded. The structure may be bolted to concrete base on which the structure sits. Steel cable guys or high tensile strength straps may be stretched over or fixed to the structure and anchored in the ground, or in a concrete base. The structure may be buttressed by buttresses anchored in the ground or in a concrete base. The structure may be clamped to the ground by L-shaped beams, the short leg of which extends over and abuts the top of the structure, and the long leg of which extends down the side of the structure into the ground or into a concrete base. The structure may be partly or completely buried in the ground. Burying or partial burying may be mimicked by sandbagging the structure completely, or circumferentially to any desired height or thickness.
To provide additional resistance to deformation and/or perforation by blast and/or ballistic impact forces (i.e. additional to that provided by any panel support means, panel interconnection means and ground anchoring means), a face of the barrier structure facing the anticipated direction of any blast and/or ballistic force may be clad with sheet, plate or tile elements, for example of metal or ceramic materials. In most cases the purpose of the barrier structure will be to protect the interior of the container, so it will be the face or faces of the barrier structure facing away from the interior which may be clad in this way.
The container is clad by the barrier structure in the sense that at least part of a wall of the container is shielded internally or externally by an associated part of the barrier structure. In practice, in the case of both internal and external cladding, the cladding barrier structure will often be fixed, for example by bolts, to the container walls and will either abut the walls directly or indirectly via an intermediate layer, for example of insulating or shock absorbent material. In some cases it may be preferable to allow for a gap between a wall of the container and its barrier structure cladding. Such a gap allows the barrier structure to deform under blast and/or ballistic impact loads, without forcing corresponding deformation of the wall of the container. The gap may be bridged by filler material, for example of foamed, particulate or fibrous material, which may serve as heat and/or sound insulation and/or as a means of absorbing some of the deformation forces from a deforming barrier structure. In some cases, discrete connector elements interconnecting the container wall and barrier structure may bridge any gap, and these may connect the barrier structure to a rigid part of the container such as an edge or corner where container walls meet.
The container will usually have generally planar (including corrugated planar) side, top and bottom walls, A particularly suitable freight container is the standard, closed, general purpose, 6-sided box-shaped freight container, which has an access door or doors in one side wall, usually a rear end wall, and which often has integral means for facilitating mechanically aided lifting, such as fork-lift pockets, fixtures for handling by grappler arm, or gooseneck tunnels. Such freight containers are alternatively known as shipping containers. The International Organisation for Standards has described freight containers as articles of transport equipment (a) of a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use; (b) specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods by one or more modes of transport, without intermediate reloading; (c) fitted with devices permitting its ready handling particularly its transfer from one mode of transport to another; (d) so designed as to be easy to fill and empty. Standards (ISOs) issued from time to time by the International Organisation for Standards relate to aspects of the design of freight containers, examples being ISO 668 and ISO 1496-1.
Since the function of the barrier structure is to defend the interior of the container from blast and/or ballistic impact forces, or to protect persons or objects outside the container from the effects of an explosion within the container, it will normally be coextensive with at least one side wall of the container, normally the wall facing the expected force. Preferably, however, the barrier structure will be substantially coextensive with all side walls of the container and/or with a top wall of the container, and/or with a bottom wall of the container. In one particular embodiment, each panel of the barrier structure is substantially co-extensive with a wall of the container. In another embodiment at least the side walls (including any door(s) into the interior of the container) and the top wall are clad internally of the container with a barrier structure consisting of a plurality of interconnected reinforced panels.
In a special structure of the invention the freight container comprises an inner and an outer wall, and the barrier structure is interposed at least between the inner and outer walls.
The wall(s) of the container must be provided with access for humans such as a hatch or door. It follows that the barrier structure must also be provided with such access, if necessary to reach the container wall access. In many cases, when the structure of the invention sits on the ground, the container wall access may best be located in a side wall. Access (which may be openable and closable) may be provided via a hinged or sliding door in the container wall clad with barrier structure as for any part of the container wall. In either case, the access area through the barrier structure may be defended by a shielding part of the barrier structure or a separate access-shielding barrier structure.
One advantage of many of the embodiments of the invention is that the structure is transportable as a unit by road, rail, sea, or air. Furthermore, the structures of the invention may be conveniently grouped in a desired relationship with each other. For example two or more containers may abut each other, possibly with interconnecting access, the non-abutting walls being clad with a barrier structure as described above.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described by reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
The container 100 is a six-sided steel box, with a roof or top wall 102, a floor wall 103, two side walls 104 (one of which is omitted for clarity in
In accordance with the invention, a freight container such as that shown in
Many variations on the reinforced panel design and panel interconnections are possible, in order to maximise blast and projectile impact resistance. Some such variations are described below, in connection with the externally clad container embodiment of
The panels of the side and top walls are interconnected by I-profiled beams 6, into the side slots of which the panels fit, and are optionally fixed by cementing or with fasteners such as bolts or retaining pins. Panels 3 b and 3 c meet at right angles and are interconnected by a steel profile 8. Side panels 3 a and 3 b slot into and are optionally fixed in a Y-profiled metal beam 9, the bottom flange 10 of which is driven into the ground to anchor the overall structure. Not shown are similar Y-beams into which slot panel 3 c and other panels forming the side walls of the barrier structure 2.
The bottom wall (i.e. the floor) of the container 1 is supported by I beams 11 which are preferably welded to the container bottom wall. The Y-beams 9/10 are preferably welded to the ends of the support beams 11 to integrate the barrier structure with the container and render it transportable as a unit. For that purpose, the corner metal profiles 8 may also be connected by welded brackets, not shown, to the, walls and/or corners and/or corner edges of the container.
A wooden or metallic framework 13 is shown attached to one side wall of the container in the gap between the panel 3 c and the container wall, but is repeated (not shown) on the remaining side walls and the top wall. The framework 13 forms a support grid for foam, particulate or fibrous insulation, or other gap filler material.
The floor of the container has a trapdoor 12 which is accessed by a subterranean tunnel (not shown) for entry into and exit from the interior of the container.
Some or all of the panels 3 a, 3 b, 3 c and 3 d shown in
In the embodiment shown in
The principle of mounting the panels of the barrier structure by sandwiching between base frames is applicable also when the barrier structure is mounted inside the container. In such interior-clad embodiments, the innermost frame may be replaced by a floor abutting the base of the panels. The panels are then be sandwiched between the floor and internal frame abutting the container walls. Such a floor may be of cast matrix material incorporating main and secondary reinforcement, or may be constructed from matrix material panels of the barrier structure.
In a variation of the “two frame sandwich” arrangement described above, the first external frame 50 may be omitted, and the base of the panels sandwiched between the outer external frame 52 and the container walls. A similar variant of an internally mounted barrier structure would sandwich the base of the barrier panels between the container walls and an inner frame or floor.
The above discussion of
As stated above, the barrier structure included in the overall structure of the invention may be spaced from the wall of the container which it clads, or it may abut that wall. The barrier structure may or may not be interconnected to the wall of the container which it clads.
In any of the embodiments of