Explosion science organisations
02 July 2018
There are a number of organisations worldwide dedicated to furthering the understanding of explosion science: those below, UKELG and FABIG, are two of the most prominent based in the UK. If you would like to bring any others to the attention of a wider audience, please send details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The United Kingdom Explosion Liaison Group (UKELG) was established in 1982 by leading academics and industrial researchers in the field of explosion science in 1981. In 2017, the 35th anniversary meeting was held over three days at the DNV-GL Spadeadam test site in northern England. Presentations covered current knowledge on explosions from dusts to mists, from vapours to solids, interspersed by impressive demonstrations of the power of gas and TNT explosions.
Today, 37 years later, interest in the subject is as keen as ever as scientists and engineers wish to understand all aspects of explosions in order to improve the safety of industrial processes.
Emphasis in the early days was on understanding gas explosions. The blast at Flixborough several years previously had shown that the mechanisms controlling vapour cloud deflagration and detonation were poorly understood. Over the years that followed the scope of the meetings naturally broadened to include dust, mist and solid explosions, rapid phase transitions, BLEVEs and fireballs, ignition processes, and the response of structures to blast.
Explosion modelling has always been a key component of the meetings. The field has advanced from empirical to computational fluid dynamics modelling as mechanistic insight and computing power have increased. However, accidents still occur and an important aspect of discussion covers root causes and lessons learnt.
Each year, on average, two UKELG meetings are organised by a Committee of around 10 people drawn from industry, academia and regulators. Generally these are one-day events, held at scientific and research establishments and Universities all over the UK. Occasionally, longer meetings are held.
To achieve open discussion of current research and development the Group actively encourages the presentation of recent research and results, especially work-in-progress. The proceedings are not published to encourage informal contributions and discussion, but some presentations are placed on the UKELG website at the request or with agreement of the authors.
There is no membership fee. UKELG is a registered charity. Any interested person is free to attend meetings, on payment of an appropriate small fee to cover running costs. Students who require assistance with the registration fee and with travelling expenses can contact the Secretary. He may also be approached for financial assistance for those who are retired or otherwise financially unsupported by an affiliation. Attendance usually includes people from academia, industry, consultancies and the regulators. Details of meetings are sent to a list of contacts by e-mail and are available from the UKELG website.
The Fire and Blast Information Group (FABIG) was created in March 1992 to continue the collation, appraisal and dissemination of knowledge on hydrocarbon fires and explosions for the design of offshore and onshore facilities following the research projects initiated in response to the Piper Alpha disaster.
Our mission is to disseminate knowledge and best practice, and to develop guidance on the prevention and mitigation of fires and explosions and the protection of people and facilities from such hazards.
To this end, FABIG maintains contact with key industry experts and researchers to keep abreast of current technical challenges and ongoing research. Relevant technical information is disseminated to the membership via the quarterly Technical Meetings and Newsletters, and Technical Notes are produced to provide practising engineers with detailed guidance on challenging fire and explosion related design issues.
FABIG is committed to promoting the protection of life, property and the environment through the development and sharing of expert knowledge on hydrocarbon fires and explosions for the design of both offshore installations and onshore petrochemical plants.
Whilst in the early days of FABIG, activities focused on fire and explosion issues on offshore installations, the scope of activities has broadened to cover the design of both offshore installations and onshore petrochemical facilities, and to cover emerging topics such as design of floating production facilities, LNG, hydrogen, human factors, integrity management, and life extension.
Examples of technical topics covered by FABIG include:
• Fire and explosion hazard management
• Fire and explosion risk management
• Fire loading and response
• Explosion loading and response
• Fire and explosion mitigation systems
• Detailed fire and explosion design guidance