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Risk Management

High Pressure Containment Analysis

Blast Containment Enclosure Design

BakerRisk has a proven track record in assessing and designing of structural enclosures intended for containment of blast pressure and projectile hazards. This work has included blast containment enclosures designed for high pressure testing of tools and equipment in the energy services industry, handling and storage of high explosives for government and commercial clients, and high pressure and temperature manufacturing processes for high technology companies. BakerRisk has teamed with many clients in these industries to develop blast and projectile containment facilities that offer critical protection to personnel in the event of accidental failure or malfunction.

BakerRisk Designed Reinforced Concrete Enclosure to Contain Blast Pressure and Projectile Hazards

In the energy services industry, tools and equipment are tested both hydrostatically and pneumatically at high pressure and temperature. Facilities that test tools under these conditions require protection from two potential hazards: projectiles and blast pressure loads.

High speed projectiles, resulting from accidental tool or equipment failure, can present a potential injury hazard to personnel in the vicinity of the testing. BakerRisk evaluates projectile hazards in terms of projectile characteristics such as size, weight, shape and velocity using state-of-the-art analytical and empirical methods. Typical projectiles in high pressure tool testing applications include small tool or equipment components such as fittings, larger tool components such as end caps and bull plugs, and fragments formed from ruptured pressure vessels. In high explosives applications, high velocity casing fragments from the detonation of cased weapons also form hazardous projectiles. As part of an in-house testing program, BakerRisk has experimentally assessed the effectiveness of different types of barrier and shield designs to resist perforation by high speed projectiles with various physical characteristics, including irregular shaped projectiles.

Irregular Projectile with Jagged Edge Mounted in Firing Gun

Perforated ⅛ʺ Steel Test Shield (after test)

Blast loads resulting from a pressure release due to accidental tool, equipment, or pressure vessel failure are calculated analytically using classical bursting pressure vessel equations or numerically using BakerRisk’s proprietary Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code, Blast Wave Target Interaction (BWTI™). BWTI™ can determine complex pressure-time history distributions within a pressure containment enclosure, including the effects of pressure venting and propagation through openings in the enclosure walls or roof. BakerRisk uses blast loads calculated with BWTI™ to assess the structural response of a containment enclosure’s existing wall and roof components, design new enclosures or barriers, and determine the potential for injury to personnel exposed to blast pressures vented out of the enclosure and into the surrounding environment. In high explosives applications, blast loads within or outside an enclosure are determined either analytically with simplified methods or numerically with CFD or finite element analysis (FEA) models.

Pneumatic Pressure Vessel Failure Test Lunching a 2 inch Projectile

Structural analysis of the wall and roof components of a containment enclosure is typically performed using classic dynamic non-linear structural models which account for response to both projectile impacts and blast loads. Structural analysis of containment enclosures is used to assess blast performance of an existing enclosure, design necessary upgrades to enclosures, or to design new enclosures. When warranted, BakerRisk also uses FEA models to determine structural response from projectile impacts and blast loads on containment enclosures.

BakerRisk has designed many containment enclosures for extreme test conditions for corporate R&D and manufacturing locations, and has evaluated hundreds of high pressure testing facilities around the world. This includes significant experience developing containment enclosure designs for remote field and service locations, as well as designing modular enclosures that can be manufactured locally and shipped worldwide.

High pressure testing is conducted at BakerRisk’s (WEBTF) 160 acre test facility located near San Antonio, Texas. Tests can be conducted at various pressures and temperatures, and experimental results captured with active instrumentation. Projectile velocities are determined using high-speed video, and blast pressure time histories can be recorded using dynamic pressure transducers.

High Pressure Testing Apparatus at BakerRisk’s Test Facility
(projectile test setup for Kevlar target testing shown)

The BakerRisk test facility is set up to proof-test various types of shield designs to determine their effectiveness in providing protection from projectiles thrown during pressure vessel failures. This facility also includes a below-ground tank to conduct underwater pressure testing.

Underwater Pressure Testing Apparatus at BakerRisk’s Test Facility

Much of the high pressure testing conducted at the BakerRisk test facility is performed for the BakerRisk Pressure Testing Research Cooperative. This consortium leverages pooled funds from participating companies to conduct high pressure testing and research, and to promote the exchange of information related to pressure testing hazards common in industry.

Through this research and testing cooperative, BakerRisk has developed state-of-the-art methods for designing protection from high pressure testing hazards. Gas and hydrostatic tests have been conducted for a wide range of pressure, pressurized volume, temperature, projectile size, and barrier/shield design concepts. Tests have been conducted at pressures up to 30,000 psi with projectiles designed to launch at specific pressures. The testing results and high speed test videos are used by all participating companies to improve safety during high pressure testing operations. In addition, BakerRisk actively participates in the ongoing development and modifications to industry codes and standards related to mitigation of high pressure testing hazards.

Please see our Pressure Testing Research web page, located here:  http://ptrc.bakerrisk.com/