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Thomas Mander
Jodi Kostecki
Kelly Thomas

published on

October 2019

Blast resistant modules (BRMs) have become prevalent at petroleum refining and chemical processing facilities over the last decade. A primary rationale for utilizing a BRM is to allow a building housing essential personnel (e.g., operators) to be sited near the process units for which they are responsible. BRMs are selected based on a pressure-rating and response level (typically Low, Medium, or High). A common misconception is that a BRM will be undamaged and reusable for a specified blast overpressure rating, and such buildings are often incorrectly referred to as “blast-proof”. In order to absorb blast energy, the walls and roof of a BRM are designed to undergo transient accelerations and displacements. The allowable displacements are dictated by the selected response level, and that stated response level does not directly communicate the hazard associated with wall deflection and non-structural debris.

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