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Consequence Modeling

Fire and Explosion Modeling

Our staff work closely with clients to identify and understand their potential fire and explosion hazards, predict the consequences of explosions, fire growth and spread, and fully assess weaknesses that may be vulnerable to fires and explosions and their effects.

We have performed numerous fire and explosion modeling analyses and research studies in order to refine and validate our methods. Our unique techniques have been applied on projects ranging from large commercial fuel storage depots to the design of custom fire protection equipment in offshore oil platforms.

The following video is an example of the type of output that accompanies fire modeling to assess hazards, highlight vulnerabilities and predict the impacts of fire on existing resources

Toxic Hazard Modeling

Toxic Hazard Modeling examines a potential incident scenario from the initial release to far field dispersion, including modeling of pool vaporization and evaporation, and flammable and toxic effects. Various release scenarios such as leaks, line ruptures, long pipeline releases and tank roof collapse in pressurized and unpressurised vessels or pipes can be modeled. An integral-type dispersion model called UDM (Unified Dispersion Model) calculates several consequence results:

  • cloud behavior
  • transition through various stages such as jet phase, heavy phase, transition phase and passive dispersion phase
  • distance to hazardous concentration of interest
  • footprint of the cloud at a given time

Discharge and Dispersion Modeling

Discharge and Dispersion Modeling examines a potential incident scenario from the initial release to far field dispersion, including rate of release and phase, modeling of pool vaporization and evaporation, and flammable and toxic effects. Various release scenarios such as leaks, line ruptures, long pipeline releases and tank roof collapse in pressurized and unpressurized vessels or pipes can be modeled.

An integral-type dispersion model called UDM (Unified Dispersion Model) calculates several consequence results:

  • cloud behavior
  • transition through various stages such as jet phase, heavy phase, transition phase and
  • passive dispersion phase
  • distance to hazardous concentration of interest
  • footprint of the cloud at a given time

Facility Siting Studies

A Facility Siting Study assesses potential explosion, flammable, and toxic consequences. The results of these studies identify hazard vulnerabilities to aid with identification of potential mitigation strategies, development of site safety and emergency response plans, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

  • identification of hazard scenarios that could have significant effects on occupied buildings
  • identification of vulnerable locations for control rooms and other occupied buildings
  • identification of spacing or standoff distances between the hazards in a process and the locations of occupied buildings
  • identification of spacing or standoff distances between process units and critical equipment
  • identification of spacing or standoff distances between potential sources of flammable releases and ignition sources
  • adequacy of existing hazardous area classifications
  • identification of propagation or escalation scenarios
  • emergency response management
    • availability of emergency equipment
    • location of fire suppression systems
    • accessibility for fire trucks
    • accessibility of fire hydrants / monitors
    • locations of emergency refuges and muster points
    • adequacy of structures to serve as emergency shelters
    • suitability of evacuation routes

Dropped Object Studies

In assessing the safety of offshore structures it is typically necessary to determine the risk and consequences of damage and loss of life due to dropped objects. The resistance of a specified target area is assessed by evaluating strength reserves and energy absorbing capacity up to rupture and penetration of an object under a variety of scenarios. The objectives of a typical Dropped Object Study are:

  • determination of the probability of a particular impact scenario
  • quantification of the capacity of structural components to absorb energy
  • establish whether a dropped object defeats the capacity of selected target areas on the structure
  • determination of the maximum height that a dropped object may be dropped and still permit the targeted area to resist a breach of its integrity

Portable Building Siting Studies

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has developed API RP-753 - Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Portable Buildings. The new Recommended Practice (RP) addresses the siting of portable buildings at process plants and refineries.

The four objectives for API RP-753 include:

  • providing guidance on the safe placement of portable buildings
  • minimizing the use of occupied portable buildings in refinery process areas
  • minimizing the presence of personnel in refinery process areas
  • designing, constructing and installing portable buildings or trailers for the protection of the occupants

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