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Blast and Impact Laboratory


Impact and blast laboratory is placed in Galbiate (near Lecco) and has been recently opened thanks to the funding of an Interreg project for Italy - Switzerland Cooperation. In this lab is located a Shock Tube equipment that is unique in the world for its application, dimension and performance. The lab was designed to investigate the behaviour of precast tunnel segments when exposed to accidental actions such as blast and fire. The shock tube is 16 m long, has a 60cm diameter and adopts the double diaphragm solution to trig the shock wave. 

The maximum design reflected pressure generated by the equipment is equal to 3 MPa  and the maximum shock wave velocity is equal to 3 Mach. The main innovative point of this instrument is its application because the end of the shock tube has been properly equipped by a proper chamber able to investigate the soil-structure interaction and by a movable burner aimed at studying the blast/fire interaction. The equipment is also able to applied a well defined shock wave to every structure fixed according to proper boundary conditions.

The main research fields are:

  • soil/structure interaction in case of blast action
  • interaction between fire and blast on in-scale structures
  • dynamic behaviour of structural elements loaded by a shock wave


  • shock tube with double diapraghm with diameter equal to 60 cm. Maximum reflected pressure 3MPa, maximum shock wave velocity 3 Mach
  • gas burner with proper combustion chamber able to apply any fire curve to a structural element
  • data acquisition system with a sample rate of 3MS/s/ch (max 48 channels), signal conditioning for pressure sensor, accelerometers and strain-gages, pressure transducers and accelerometers

Services for Companies

Test of structural elements exposed to a shock wave and/or to a fire curve


Prof. Marco di Prisco - Ing. Matteo Colombo
Tel. 0341.48.8793 - Fax 0341.48.8771