Alvheim FPSO - Blast Walls verification study

Nowatec has carried out verification study of the blast resisting walls on the Alvheim FPSO

Troll Project - blast wall feasibility study

Nowatec has carried out feasibility study for a new blast resisting wall for the Troll project.



Engineering Handbook 

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Design for hydrocarbon explosions and fires

Explosions, fires and other accidents are seen as major risk factors associated with the offshore industry by governmental authorities and platform operators. Extreme loads arising from accidents create a challenge for structural engineers in the design of safe and weight efficient structures. The use of design procedures based on state-of-the-art computational technology allows for weight optimum structural designs which meet defined safety requirements.

Offshore structures

Design for explosions and fires is normally based on selection of the Design Principles such as:

  • Deterministic Design
  • Probabilistic Design
  • Risk Based Design

The analytical methods used in explosions and fires design include:

  • Simplified methods, and
  • Non-linear Finite Element modelling and analysis. FE models involve accurate description of modelling techniques including modelling of structures, materials and fire and explosion loads

Nowatec perform assessment of fire and explosion loads in cooperation with our partners. Based on assessments of fire and explosion loads deterministic or probabilistic models of loads can be established that is directly used in the design process.

Nowatec carry out structural design, verification as well as studies of structures subjected to fires and explosions. Complex FE models of structures are developed and used in response and structural strength simulations.

Explosion design. Blast resisting walls

The Piper Alpha disaster drew attention to the damage likely to arise from explosions and fires on an offshore platform, and the inadequacies of previous practices in the minimization of and protection against these hazards.

The following aspects shall be considered in order to achieve an optimum design of blast resisting walls and partitions:

  • Identification, by use of risk analysis, of the credible scenarios of gas explosions 
  • Definition of design over-pressure loads 
  • Establishment of the behaviour of materials to be used for the design for high rate loads 
  • Determination of the behaviour and strength of walls by means of non-linear Finite Element modelling and simulations

The structural design and analysis methods developed by Nowatec have been applied in a number of explosion design projects for offshore and onshore facilities.

Design of offshore facilities to resist gas explosion hazard. Engineering Handbook

The Design of offshore facilities to resist gas explosion hazard, Engineering Handbook, by Dr. Jurek Czujko 2001, has been developed based on the results of the Gas Explosion Engineering Joint Industry Project (GEE JIP). The project was sponsored by HSE (UK), Norsk Hydro and STATOIL (Norway). The major objective of the project was to develop methods and procedures to improve gas explosion load assessment using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structural behaviour using Nonlinear Finite Element Methods (NL-FEM). During the project, a number of studies have been carried out and documented in the Handbook.

The Handbook has been recently reviewed by Prof. J. K.Paik Editor in Chief of the Ships and Offshore Structures Journal, 2006 Vol 1 No 2. The review can be downloaded from here.



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