Blast Resistant Shells-the Final Option


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Title: Blast Resistant Shells-the Final Option

Author(s): Darrell D. Barker

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 175


Appears on pages(s): 87-102

Keywords: resistant construction; blast loads; explosions; reinforced concrete; roofs; shear I

Date: 12/1/1998

There are a number of existing facilities at petrochemical plants which : house a significant number of personnel as well as expensive control equipment which must provide protection during an explosion accident. Many of these structures are not capable of resisting blast pressure which may occur during an explosion because they were not designed for these loads. As a result, the potential for significant hazards to personnel and equipment exists at many plants. This paper describes a project involving the scenario postulated above. The existing building was constructed of unreinforced masonry yet was subjected to peak reflected blast loads on the order of 70 psi (483 kPa). A poured-in-place, reinforced concrete box was selected for the new structure. Walls were designed to resist reflected blast loads in flexure and to transmit reactions to the roof diaphragm and shear walls. Walls and roof sections were designed using single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) methods for determination of dynamic response to the transient blast load. Control conduits extending from the existing walls presented several difficulties for construction of the new walls. A confined working area, high water table, and a requirement for equipment to remain operational also posed unique design challenges.