Industrial Blast Resistant Facilities: an Engineer’slConstructor’s Viewpoint


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Title: Industrial Blast Resistant Facilities: an Engineer’slConstructor’s Viewpoint

Author(s): William Bounds, Madhav Nene and Hsitoung Ko

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 175


Appears on pages(s): 19-40

Keywords: blast resistant construction; evaluation; reinforced concrete; shear structural design

Date: 12/1/1998

The number of blast resistant facilities planned, designed, and constructed recently in petrochemical plants points to an increased interest in this specialized type of design. This paper deals with the numerous decisions to be made in designing blast resistant buildings. First, the need for a blast resistant design must be evaluated. Then, design objectives and relative cost must be balanced to produce an optimal design. Design practices must be established as there are various company, military, and professional publications available. Detailing practices also require careful consideration as there are differences in the implementation of shear reinforcing, precast elements, penetrations, and exterior doors. Several actions would greatly benefit the design of petrochemical blast facilities. A clear definition from government and insurance sources is needed on what facilities need to be protected from explosions. Improvements are needed in the evaluation of blast loads within petrochemical facilities. A consensus on engineering calculations and construction details would help unify design approaches.