Risk-Based Approach – Explosions and Blast Loading

The major concerns for anyone involved with risk assessment related to explosions is to estimate the explosion wave shape and the overpressure and impulse as a function of distance from the explosion. This paper introduces the fundamentals of explosions and reviews different types of explosions; i.e., physical explosions, vapor cloud explosions, condensed phase explosions, confined explosions with reactions and dust explosions. Additionally, this paper is focused on blast loading phenomena to structures, which is a key input to consider when performing structural response predictions by using the Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) approach.  

An explosion is a sudden and violent release of energy. The violence of the explosion depends on the rate at which energy is released. There are several kinds of energy which may be released in an explosion. Three basic types are: (1) Physical Energy, which may take such forms as pressure energy in gases, strain energy in metals or electrical energy; (2) Chemical Energy; which derives from a chemical reaction; and (3) Nuclear Energy, which is out of the scope of the Chemical Process Industry (CPI).


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