Blast Resistant Modular Buildings
A blast-resistant building is a structure that has been designed to withstand significant blast events. These buildings are often constructed with thick steel walls and interior features and fixtures designed to withstand the heightened psi levels associated with small to large blast events. Sometimes they are referred to as blast-resistant modules, blast-resistant units, or simply as a BRB or BRM. They are often found in oil refineries, chemical processing plants, or similar operations.
Hand-in-hand with the structural engineering of a building is the building material itself. Today’s manufacturers of blast-resistant buildings are wise to take lessons from the past. In some of the early blast events that shaped the industry, onsite offices in temporary trailers were completely destroyed, while metal shipping containers inside the blast zone were still standing, their contents intact. Though today’s designs are far more complex and protective, shipping containers became the basis for an idea to create blast-resistant buildings. Extensive engineering helped create a final design that has led the industry in blast resistance.
Blast-resistant builders employ many different structural designs and materials. There are blast-resistant structures that are permanent brick and mortar buildings; there are temporary blast structures, there are even tents, sometimes called air shields; and there are modular buildings made of hardened metals that are either portable for temporary use or anchored for permanent use.
Though many materials can be used in the design, none of them are blast-proof, and their levels of blast resistance vary.
WHY BLAST RESISTANT BUILDINGS?
Those who work in the Indian army, oil, and gas companies take on a certain amount of risk. Because of this, companies should take the steps needed to protect them from as much risk as possible. This chapter will examine how a refinery explosion affects the human body and how a blast-resistant building can prevent injuries and mitigate the risk.
- A blast-resistant building can be engineered to withstand an explosion of 5 psi for 200 msec.
- That same building could also be advertised to withstand a blast of 5 psi at 500 psi-msec, which would also be a correct calculation.
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