SAFE C.I.T.I.Structures Research LAB

Invited Seminar at University of Akron

November 18, 2016 (available at CWRU on November 28)

Professor Heo has been invited to University of Akron for a seminar on "How to Determine Design Level Blast Load for a Gas Explosion?"

Professor Heo will also offer a lecture on the same topic on November 28, 2016 during ECIV 426 for students at CWRU (10:30am ~ 11:40, Olin 313). Students who didn't enroll in the course but are interested in the lecture, contact Professor Heo by email.

   It has been observed that explosive chemical and petrochemical accidents can lead to devastating impact on our lives, economy and environment from past and recent disasters over the world. In addition to occasional explosion accidents at onshore and offshore petrochemical plants, street level explosion accidents due to natural gas leak from the natural gas distribution and transmission piping systems are becoming a major threat in urban and suburban areas where the population and infrastructure have been rapidly growing.

Current provisions for blast resistant design in the civil engineering field such as UFC 3-340-01, UFC 3-340-02, and ASCE/SEI 59 are based on high explosives in a free field. The explosion mechanism of high explosives, however, are totally different from that of gas explosion in complex systems such as petrochemical plants and urban cities due to severe turbulence and other factors. On the other hand, significant efforts have been made to evaluate design blast load based on probabilistic approaches and advanced computational fluid dynamics for gas explosion responses in the offshore engineering field. Yet, even in the offshore industry, design blast load criteria don’t properly account for such distinct blast wave characteristics.

There are a couple of essential questions to address these issues: What is Blast/Blast Load? How to Determine Design Level Blast Load for a Gas Explosion? Clear definition of blast and blast load will be first discussed through the basic gas explosion mechanism during this seminar. Also, a procedure for design blast load quantification based on a probabilistic approach for gas explosion in an offshore oil and gas process system will be described.