Explosion Risks: Evaluating Congestion Levels
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In the event a vapor cloud explosion (VCE) occurs in a process facility, congestion in the vicinity of the explosion has the potential to significantly worsen the resulting blast overpressures on surrounding equipment and buildings.

Overpressures generated from VCE's are highly sensitive to congested areas and facility layouts have the potential to increase or decrease hazards associated with explosion overpressures. In this paper, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software FLACS is employed to evaluate a representative process facility layout to identify how piping configuration, congestion, and degree of confinement can affect blast overpressure. Specific piping sizes and spacing arrangements are varied, and for each configuration, a variety of vapor cloud/ignition points are used to highlight sensitivities in this process facility configuration. Results from this study are discussed with regards to the planning and evaluation of the design and layout of the process facility.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Sean Classen, Morgan Reed, Eric Peterson
  • Title: Explosion Risks: Evaluating Congestion Levels
  • Event or Publication: AIChE's 9th Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Practice Areas: Risk Management, Analysis and Simulation, Design and Assessment
  • Date: 2013
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas