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Development of an ISO standard for performance of PFP post blast - Hazardex 2016

Author : Paul Cronin, DNV GL

28 October 2015


**This paper will be presented at Hazardex 2016. Contact us for details of delegate packages & offers**

When delayed ignition of a gas release occurs it is likely that the resulting gas explosion will be followed by a fire.  An installation that survives the initial explosion may be impaired by the resulting fire as occurred to Piper Alpha.  To prevent this happening it is necessary to ensure that the capabilities of the fire protection on an installation, is not significantly impaired by the effects of the gas explosion.

With regard to passive fire protection (PFP) this is achieved by developing coatings that can withstand the pressure and drag loadings on the PFP resulting from a gas explosion and the resulting deflection of the supporting substrate.  The only realistic way to demonstrate that these PFPs can perform adequately is to test them against a gas explosion of the required intensity. 

The pressure and drag loadings that occur in a gas explosion are complex and can vary significantly with the location of an item within the explosion, away from vents compressive loads dominate whilst close to vents drag loading can be the most significant.  The capabilities required for a PFP to survive the explosion load can vary significantly depending on its location in an installation.  Also the response of structure, to which the PFP is applied to, can have a significant effect on its performance.

No test standard exists for the blast testing of PFP so historically PFP materials have been rated to survive a given gas explosion overpressure and sometimes duration with little regard for how the pressure was generated or how the PFP was supported.  This has meant that PFPs with apparently similar ratings in reality can have significantly different capabilities.

DNV GL and other interested parties have engaged with ISO to develop a test standard for testing PFP against the blast effects of gas explosions.  The intention being that the standard developed would also provide the basis of test standards for other component used in the oil and gas industry that are required to withstand blast loading.  The standard would define the test conditions and the criteria to be used to assess the performance which will mean that tested PFP materials can be compared reliably.  This paper investigates the issues that have to be addressed in developing a draft standard and describes the progress that has been made.


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