Dedicated to cutting edge research and scientific study, Hinman Labs are known for translating highly technical knowledge into elegant, practical and affordable design solutions.
This small, internal Hinman team anticipates emerging requirements and strives for solutions to new and evolving disruptions in global safety. This highly motivated group of individuals recognizes the necessity of advancing new products and technologies, always pressing forward to develop innovative strategies for the next generation of protective solutions.
Tools offered through Hinman HI-Tech Labs® allow us to offer blast analysis and overall cost benefit studies which meet architectural integrity requirements, whether the protection level is for an extremely small job or a multi-story LEED Platinum building design.
While the market offers off-the-shelf analysis and modeling tools, using them effectively requires a complex combination of programs. HI-Tech Labs® offers clients a proprietary software suite that aids in the analysis of worldwide hazards and threats to buildings and building complexes. Built on a Matlab® platform, these are tools that combine artificial intelligence, Chaos Theory, and the most current technologies with the most current threat criteria to help users find appropriate solutions.
Our non-linear structural dynamics analytical tools, ranging from lumped mass models to advanced finite element analysis, allow Hinman to evaluate structural complexities and select cost effective and appropriate methods to meet each project’s needs. Our additional resources include in-house, proprietary computer models and select government sponsored software packages that evaluate the structural response to extreme loads and progressive collapse potential.
Our in-house software suite, Blast Analysis Modules (BAM®) includes close to 100 modules used to determine explosive air-blast parameters and resulting structural behaviors of critical components such as windows, walls, cladding elements, columns, slabs, beams, and girders. Because every building has unique characteristics, our models are designed to accommodate a variety of material properties, support conditions, connection details, air-blast parameters and geometries, allowing them to accurately predict building behaviors under severe loading conditions.
Rigorous numerical methods are used to evaluate response, solving governing differential equations as functions of time, and incorporate strain hardening effects, damping and non-linear material behavior. Evaluation outputs include: displacement as a function of time, peak displacement, ductility, support rotation, reaction loads, and rebound effects.
Hinman uses high-fidelity modeling to help clients validate performance and reduce construction costs.
We employ the state-of-the-art multi-physics software LS-DYNA, developed by the Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC). LS-DYNA is a finite element analysis package used for a range of engineering simulations including: automotive crashworthiness testing, non-linear dynamic seismic structural analysis (incorporating fluid-structure interaction), blast and impact analyses, and analyses of structural performance in fires.
The Hinman team has used LS-DYNA for 10 years and has extensive experience running high-level engineering analyses for extreme loading including impact, blast, vibration, earthquake, and progressive collapse. Hinman’s unique combination of industry experts and superior technological capabilities continues to afford our clients the most appropriate and economical protection solutions.
In traditional blast engineering, threat sizes and locations must be known or reasonably assumed in order to provide structural damage estimates caused by extreme events, structural geometry, structural member sizes, or material properties. This means that to quantify damages, structures need to first be designed and then analyzed for extreme loading effects—a lengthy and costly engineering process requiring repeated iteration before desirable designs are achieved.
To reduce wasted time and expenses, we have developed an alternate analytical methodology using Chaos Theory and Info-Gap Theory, which identifies likely damage scenarios by increasing robustness. Resulting models, based on topology, derive expected damage possibilities and quantify them.
Our quantitative methods enable us to estimate the most likely structural damages without requiring a full structural design.
With unlimited resources, nearly any structure can be configured (strengthened) to withstand initiating damage. In reality and in terms of cost-effectiveness, it makes more sense to strengthen some structures over others.
The structural robustness indicator is based on the concept of structural integrity, uncompromised by small variations in initial assumptions. This approach enables us to evaluate the “effectiveness” of one structural configuration over another.
To determine the magnitude of various perturbation effects and enable us to show you how easy it would be to strengthen structural systems against initial damage, we employ principles of Chaos Theory. This concept is illustrated below:
By comparing Structure 1 and Structure 2 we can determine that Structure 1 appears to be more robust.
Effective risk mitigation strategies weigh the balance of protective benefits against implementation costs.
Using our proprietary Cost Benefit Indicator (CBI), we help clients make rapid building determinations about risk exposure and expected costs. CBI generates building-specific cost-benefit graphs that indicate the “sweet-spot”—the place where associated cost and protection level make the most sense.
This data empowers clients with high-level, strategic and protective-design output such as:
New building optimization and site configuration data
One on one comparisons of existing buildings and potential sites
Lease space comparisons within a building(s)
As a project progresses, CBI can be used to consider detailed design parameters. Side-by-side upgrade scheme comparisons allow clients to make informed decisions that meet both their risk and cost goals.