Structural behaviour due to explosions

Handling the effect of an explosion in an industrial or civil environment

Explosions in a structure can cause significant damage to the structure and neighbouring buildings or equipment. In this course you will learn, as an engineer with basic knowledge of strength theory, how to determine the strength of structures when exposed to explosion pressure waves and how to deal with various aspects surrounding the effect of an explosion on a structure.

For typical industrial gas or dust explosions, the structural response analysis is still in its early stages. To predict the structural response to explosion pressure, the design pressure is often applied as a 'safe' approach to explosion resistance. It is sometimes argued that, because an explosion is an exceptional load, there is no need to apply usual safety margins or that, due to the very fast loading, equipment tends to be stronger.

When applying explosion venting, it is almost never checked that the external pressure does not cause damage to neighbouring equipment or buildings. As long as venting is into a safe direction and into open air, it is considered safe. Estimates of the strength of existing structures when exposed to explosion pressure waves are often much too high.

Professional handling of the effect of explosions on structures

To know how to properly deal with the effect of gas and dust explosions on structures, you will learn about:

  • Dynamics of structures focused on explosion response, material behaviour and consequences
  • Strength calculations beyond the elastic limit, so taking into account plastic deformations
  • Estimating failure limits of structures
  • Cylindrical vessels: the general design formula is presented, including buckling
  • Explosive effects on buildings: predicting effect with reliable empirical data
  • Methods to estimate the strength of industrial buildings
  • Installation of explosion venting and environmental safety
  • Practical applications of the theory

Intended for

Engineers, who have a basic knowledge of structural engineering or mechanical engineering:

  • Mechanical engineers involved in the structural design of process equipment
  • Civil engineers who build in hazardous areas
  • Explosion safety experts

Knowledge of strength calculations (stress-strain diagrams, beam calculations, frames, stress distribution over a cross-section) is required.

Course leader
ir. A. Harmanny
The teacher is a civil engineer, specialized in structural engineering. Before graduating, he designed an earthquake simulator and was involved for several years in (experimental and theoretical) research on the structural response to explosions.

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  • Information
    Trainer: Dhr. Ir. A. Harmanny
    Course data: op aanvraag
    Price: € 1,150.00 ex. vat
    The program will be taught in English.
  • Program
    1. A brief introduction into the training course 
    2. Introduction into the phenomenon dust- and gas explosion. This includes a life demonstration of a dust explosion.
    3. Based on the structure of steel, its behaviour during loading is explained (elastic realm, yielding, strengthening). How is this behaviour effected by fast loadings (explosions).
    4. Dynamics of structures, focused on structural response to an explosion loading.
    5. Force distribution in static determined- and static undetermined structures, effect of ductility. Plastic hinges.
    6. Case 1: determination of the force distribution in a frame, with the help of plastic hinges. Including discussion.
    7. Strength of buildings loaded by explosions: empirical data and pragmatic estimation methods.
    8. Strength analysis of plates. Yield line method.
    9. Case 2: Strength analysis of a rectangular duct, including possible reinforcement.
    10. Introduction into standard EN14460:2018 “Explosion Resistant Equipment”.
    11. Behaviour of cylindrical vessels, with flat or domed ends. Both during internal overpressure and vacuum.