# Overpressure

Overpressure (or blast overpressure) is the pressure caused by a shock wave over and above normal atmospheric pressure. The shock wave may be caused by sonic boom or by explosion, and the resulting overpressure receives particular attention when measuring the effects of nuclear weapons or thermobaric bombs.

## Effects of overpressure

According to an article in the journal Toxicological Sciences,

"Blast overpressure (BOP), also known as high energy impulse noise, is a damaging outcome of explosive detonations and firing of weapons. Exposure to BOP shock waves alone results in injury predominantly to the hollow organ systems such as auditory, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems."[1]

An EOD suit worn by bomb disposal experts can protect against the deadly effects of BOP.[2]

Pressure Effects[3]
10 pounds per square inch (69 kPa)
• Reinforced concrete buildings severely damaged
• Severe heart and lung damage
• Limbs can be blown off
4 pounds per square inch (28 kPa)
• Most buildings collapse except concrete buildings
• Injuries universal
• Fatalities occur
2 pounds per square inch (14 kPa)
• Residential structures collapse
• Brick walls destroyed
• Injuries common
• Fatalities may occur

## Overpressure calculation (explosive)

Overpressure is determined using "Weibull's formula":[4][5]

$\Delta p = 2410 \left( {m \over V} \right)^{0.72}$

where:

• 2410 is a constant based on 1 bar (100 kPa; 15 psi)
• $m\,$ = net explosive mass calculated using all explosive materials and their relative effectiveness
• $V\,$ = volume of given area (primarily used to determine volume within an enclosed space)