(104bo) Key Explosion Principles for Process Safety and Consequence Analysis


The consequences of an explosion at a chemical processing facility can be devastating whether the fuel is a gas, liquid, or solid.  These consequences are well understood by the process safety professional. Every year a multitude of explosion consequence analyses are performed and measures are taken to prevent such events and mitigate their impact on a facility, surrounding population and the environment.  But seldom does the safety professional in charge of interpreting the results of such studies have a solid grasp on the fundamental principles behind explosion phenomena and the calculations and assumptions used in the consequence analysis.  This talk will review the key principles that form the framework of explosion consequence analysis, enabling an effective understanding of this important process safety phenomenon.  Using simple scenarios, results from field tests and computer simulations, this talk will explain concepts like: the difference between detonation and deflagration, confinement and its effect in energy release, the relation between overpressure, impulse duration and amplitude, and the damage sustained by a rigid structure.