Blast Wall Bravura

by Pieter J. van der Weijde, Managing Director; Engineering Systems International B.V., Krimpen aan den IJssel, The Netherlands,
Paul H. L. Groenenboom, Senior Physicist; Engineering Systems International B.V., Krimpen aan den IJssel, The Netherlands,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 12, Pg. 62-65

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Since the 1988 disaster on the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea, which claimed 165 lives, legislation in the United Kingdom has required the operators of offshore installations to produce a safety case for each installation. The safety case demonstrates that the methods of working and the operation of the installation reduce the risk of explosion and fire damage to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable. The safety case for the Beryl Bravo platform, located in the United Kingdom sector of the northern North Sea, identified possible explosion scenarios in the process and compression areas of the platform. The original design of the platform required the two 40 m long by 8 m high walls that separate the process and compression areas from the rest of the platform to act only as fire barriers with no specific explosion requirement. Previous studies using implicit codes had indicated that the walls would fail when subjected to a static load equivalent to the maximum overpressure from the potential explosion. It was realized, however, that numerical simulation of the wall using an implicit FE code does not take into account the dynamic effects such as inertia related to the duration of the blast; nonuniformity of the instantaneous loading; material hardening due to strain rate effects; and the energy absorbed by the plasticity.

Subject Headings: Offshore structures | Safety | Explosions | Fire safety |

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