How much damage would a normal human take after being pushed through a wall like in the movies ?

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Whenever I see those kinds of fight where the characters pretend to be normal humans then just out of the blue while fighting, punches a wall bare fisted, or takes a sledgehammer bonk to the head like it’s nothing. I’m more curious about the classic “shove the dude through the wall” move, sometimes into goddamn concrete walls. What would the damages actually be for the three parties (third being the wall) if it’s even possible to start with in real life ?

In: Physics

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your average concrete can handle 2500 psi of compressive strength. The strongest bones in the human body will break at about 1700 psi.

In short the wall will do way more damage to the human body than a human will do to a concrete wall. At the velocities that a human can shove another human into a wall the only damage to the wall will be; being splattered by human squishy bits.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends on the wall. Sheetrock resi walls are little more than gypsum dust between two sheets of paper and can very easily be punched through. Both layers if you don’t stop early enough. Somewhat less easily if they’re acoustic walls with double layer glued sheetrock, but still doable.

Don’t test this unless you’re demoing a partition wall and know where the studs are – those don’t yield and you’ll break your knuckles.

If you’re a movie baddie, you probably know how to throw a punch and you could absolutely deck Arnie if you caught him off balance.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Virtually impossible for a whole adult sized human to go through any wall that is framed to a reasonable western building code. Concrete has metal reinforcing in it. You’d have to hit it with a car at decent speed to go through. Even a timber framed plasterboard wall, sure, you’ll leave a massive dent, but you won’t go through… And it will hurt, a lot. Movie walls were a person gets thrown through a wall are absolutely faked up so that it is actually even possible, let alone possible without killing the actor/stuntperson.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I was in the Army, ~30 or so years ago, I saw the aftermath of a contractor was inflating a split rim tire without a cage.

The rim failed with a boom that seemed to shake the entire motor pool. It launched the dude into a block wall, cracking a few.

He was breathing for about 3 minutes or so, and looked somewhat misshapen. Then convulsed and died. I suspect that’s how long it took him to bleed out from internal injuries.

If he had gone through the wall, I’m sure he would have been dead instantly, and at best been a human~ish shaped blood pudding.

Since he was a civilian contractor, there wasn’t even a safety briefing about the accident or any mention of it. I lost all regard for the army that day.

I’ve also dove through a few drywall interior walls in my twenties. Much like breaking boards in karate, it only hurts if you fail to break it.

I imagine between drywall(no real injuries) and cement block walls(fucked), say plywood, there’s a strength of a wall that you could break through and survive while being only injured to some degree.

Anonymous 0 Comments

*Pushed* is key bit here. Being *pushed* through a wall will not do too much damage – because to be pushed through a concrete wall, the concrete wall is probably crumble AF or just some silly slender concrete bricks stacked together with no joining material. So long as you are pushed/stumble far enough away from the wall that any falling bricks don’t land on you, or only a couple bounce off you, it’ll likely be bruising and aching but nothing more.

*Punching* through a wall – different game entirely, as others have pointed out. If it helps – myself, my dad and my brother-in-law have managed to punch *through* walls at various points in our lives. I was a stroppy young twenty-something, my Dad was in his prime as a front-line solider, and my brother-in-law was a skinny stroppy young teen – so massive disparities in force, but we all left fist-sized holes in the cheap-ass walls we punched. If it had been a brick or concrete wall, all of us would have walked away with broken knuckles. I’ve managed to kick through a wooden door in the past (again, stroppy anger-management-issues).

To actually force someone bodily through a wall though? Short of it being cheap ply-board or paper walls, you have to then take into account the surface area of the person as well as the amount of force per square [area measurement], and that force applied consistently across the person, and that force to be such that it exceeds the compressive strength/integrity of build of the wall. So to actually launch someone *through* a wall it is near-impossible to do so and the person you launch still be alive.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In the 80s I was talking to a girl on the phone in my parents room. My older sister was teasing me, and back then, you were limited to where you could be (because of the phone cord). I kicked her totally through their bedroom wall. It was amazing, but our parents didn’t think so.