Energetic Materials Blast Information Group (EMBIG)

In 2018, in discussion with industry and government agencies, the need for a group to develop the knowledge required to ensure the safe processing, transportation and storage of explosives was identified. SCI was asked to establish and host the new group which has been named EMBIG, the Energetic Materials Blast Information Group. The Group was launched in August 2018 and today has 15 members that include government agencies, consultants, academic partners and the Health and Safety Executive. EMBIG aims to improve the knowledge available to those involved in assessing the safety of sites for the storage, manufacturing and handling of explosive materials by providing a forum for the development and exchange of best practice. The group has now expanded its scope to also consider the protection of structures and our built environment from terrorist attacks and accidental detonations of energetic materials in nearby chemical and explosive storage and manufacturing facilities.



Shortly after its formation, the group members identified a need for software to calculate blast effects on structures because methods that are available to civilian organisations are often limited to simple legacy software developed by the US Military in the 1960s and 70s. These codes are automated versions of empirical formulae found in US Military manuals. They provide rapid results but require an understanding of the underlying methods to be used effectively and within their limits of application. These software codes were written for what are now obsolete operating systems (e.g. MS-DOS), hence are difficult to run and not user friendly. The US Department of Defence considers many of them to be classified and only licenses them to US contractors so their use by civilian organisations in the UK could be without the necessary licences.


EMBlast performs blast calculations for all the high explosives covered in ISO/FDIS 16933:2007 using TNT equivalence as well as user-customisable explosives. The completed free-field and loads on structures modules cover hemispherical surface bursts on hard and soft ground, spherical free-air bursts and spherical above ground bursts. Both modules generate graphical and numerical reports of pressure and impulse time-history. The modules also calculate peak pressure, impulse and arrival time as a function of range for multiple target points.


The development of EMBlast is completed in collaboration with the Blast and Impact Group of the University of Sheffield through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) supported by Innovate UK. Work has already commenced on the development of the next module dealing with internal detonations.



  • A newly published open-accessed paper in the journal Structures details and validates the methodology implemented in EMBlast. The paper presents the EMBlast methodology for predicting far-field loading from free-air and surface charge explosions. The full paper can be accessed from the following link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352012423017071


  • Blast trials were recently completed at the University of Sheffield’s Blast and Impact Dynamics Group's research lab in Buxton. These tests involved the detonation of 100gr PE4 explosives, recording the pressure-time history with 12 pressure gauges in 2 reflecting surfaces. The aim of these tests was to extend the capability of EMBlast in predicting clearing effects in the near-field.



  • Angelides, S.C., Morison, C., Burgan, B., Kyprianou, C., Rigby, S., Tyas,  A. (2023). A methodology for predicting far-field blast loading on structures. Structures, 58, 105619. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.istruc.2023.105619
  • Angelides, S. C., Burgan, B., Kyprianou, C., Rigby, S., Tyas, A. (2023). An application of the Hudson clearing method to near-field blast loading and above-ground explosions. In: Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Protective Structures, Auburn, USA. Microsoft Word - 194 Angelides (researchgate.net)




Past presentations in seminars, webinars and conferences


  • (24/01/2024) Group of Experts in Mitigation Systems (GEMS) Conference, UK - Simplified tools for predicting blast loading from confined and unconfined explosions


  • (13/07/2023) Atkins Structural Dynamics Network, UK - Blast Response of Laminated Glass


  • (29/06/2023) HSE Conference, UK - Introducing EMBlast




  • (26/01/2023) Group of Experts in Mitigation Systems (GEMS) Conference, UK - LAMB Addition: A Method for Predicting Blast Loads from the Detonation of Energetic Materials.


  • (19/01/2023) Atkins Structural Dynamics Network, UK - EMBlast: an introduction to a blast loading predictive software.



  • (02/11/2022) Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar, University of Warwick, UK - A fast running model for predicting blast loads.


  • (27/10/2022) Glass Forum 2022, TU Delft, the Netherlands - Blast loading: Post-fracture response of laminated glass and loading predictions for façades.


  • (21/10/2022) International Committee on Industrial Construction Conference, Cyprus - EMBlast: A software for rapidly and accurately predicting blast loads on structures.




Recorded material

EMBIG Advisory Committee