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Blast Mitigation Testing

EMRTC - photoInfrastructure Defense Technologies contracted with The Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), affiliated with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, an internationally recognized facility that and has over 50 years of expertise in explosives research and testing, to perform blast testing research on our Metalith™ perimeter security barriers. EMRTC specializes in the research, development, and analysis of energetic materials for both industrial and government clients.

EMRTC's 40-square-mile field laboratory is located in the mountains west and adjacent to the Institute's campus in Socorro, New Mexico.

The field laboratory contains over 30 test sites, gun ranges, storage sites, and other research facilities, allowing for a complete range of research and testing activities.

EMRTC specializes in the following areas of research and development:

  • Computer simulations
  • DOT and UN hazards classification
  • Environmental assessments
  • Insensitive munitions testing
  • Light gas gun experiments
  • Mine detection evaluation
  • Non-ideal explosives research
  • Ordnance testing
  • Reusable blast test fixture programs
  • Rocket engine testing
  • Sled track experiments
  • Vulnerability/Survivability analysis
  • Warhead characterization
  • Warhead development

On February 3, 2004 Infrastructure Defense Technologies utilized the EMRTC personnel and facilities to explode two high order detonations near five (four major and one minor) previously-erected sections of the Metalith protective barrier system walls to obtain blast pressure attenuation data and observe the physical results of the explosions at various pre-determined standoff distances from ground zero. View Blast 1 video for the four Metalith barriers and Blast 2 video for the 3-foot standoff.

Metalith blast test layout at EMRTC

EMTRC blast test layout - illustration

Metalith barrier sections were placed 20 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet, 80 feet, and 160 feet from ground zero of the first test's high order detonation, a 15-passenger van filled with explosives.

During the second test, a mini van packed with explosives was detonated 3 feet from the barrier wall that was located 160-foot from the first high order detonation.

Blast Attenuation Data

The table below shows the direct blast data developed for Infrastructure Defense Technologies by the EMRTC. The blast data recorded by the test sensors indicated that most backside blast pressures were attenuated by over 96%!


Distance From Blast

Attenuation %


20 Feet



40 Feet



80 Feet



160 Feet



3 Feet


Source: EMRTC Test Data obtained 2/3/2004

* Sensors did not record the psi for the 160-foot barrier during the testing.

We have restricted the total blast test information for obvious reasons. More information is available for personnel with the proper clearances.

EMRTC Blast Test 1
EMRTC Blast Test 2
EMTRC blast test 1 - photo
EMTRC blast test 2 - photo

Metalith Blast Test Barrier Performance

20-Foot Standoff - Blast 1

Barrier center buckled with sand spilling ~35 feet out the rear. Barrier absorbed a tremendous explosive pressure wave yet there was no thru penetration of shrapnel. Attenuation was 90.4%.

40-Foot Standoff - Blast 1

Barrier center buckled with sand spilling ~20 feet out the rear. There was no thru penetration of shrapnel. Attenuation was 98.2%.

80-Foot Standoff - Blast 1

Barrier received multiple severe shrapnel strikes with no adverse structural damage and no thru penetration of shrapnel. Attenuation was 96.1%.

160-Foot Standoff - Blast 1

Barrier received multiple lesser strikes and the wall was totally intact with minor penetrations and no thru penetration of shrapnel. No attenuation readings were recorded due to failed sensors.

3-Foot Standoff - Blast 2

The front of the Metalith protective steel barrier immediately adjacent to the mini van buckled and some sand spilled into the crater formed by the mini van explosion. A small portion of the back of the barrier slowly split opposite the mini van location with sand thrown 12 feet from the back wall. There was no thru penetration of shrapnel and the mini van was completely destroyed. Attenuation was 98.7%.

View the Metalith's U.S. Department of State K12 crash testing information.

Infrastructure Defense Technologies' Metalith blast mitigation and K12 anti-ram vehicle barriers are designed to stop intruders attempting to penetrate a facility's perimeter security borders using vehicles or explosive devices.

Call us today at 1-800-379-1822 or email us at, or send a fax using 815-323-1317 to get an immediate quote for your physical perimeter security problems. Stop intruders before they cause serious security issues, critical infrastructure damage, or disaster.

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The Metalith
A Division of Infrastructure Defense Technologies

6550 Revlon Drive • Belvidere, Illinois 61008
Phone: 1-800-379-1822 • Fax: 1-815-323-1317



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Metalith - perimeter security barriers brochure

For more information about the Metalith blast mitigation and anti-ram physical security barriers, please request our FREE BROCHURE by mail.

Or you can DOWNLOAD it here.