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Project Profile

Determining MODU Design Loads Using Fuel Air Explosion Modeling Scenarios

Learn how we applied computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling scenarios to help operators understand the threat of explosion and thermal hazards and improve the structural design of offshore assets.

Project Objectives

New Build Risk Assessment

Project Overview

Although rare, offshore explosions can have catastrophic and disruptive consequences that not only affect personnel and the environment but also can significantly impact industry operating standards and regulations. The threat of an accidental release of flammable materials stored on offshore drilling and production assets creates a high risk of potentially causing serious explosion and thermal hazards such as vapor cloud explosions (VCEs); so offshore asset owners must carefully consider and mitigate this risk before an asset has been designed and once it is active in the field. To support the safety of offshore personnel as well as to protect structural integrity, a controlling load case for the critical areas of an offshore asset can increase process safety and reliability.

Recognizing a need to develop guidance for determining and quantifying design blast loads for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs), ABS Group's Extreme Loads and Structural Risk team initiated a technical study to establish screening level loads. Our approach involved using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to analyze potential fuel air explosion scenarios.

Study Needs 
  • Develop design basis blast loads for offshore assets
  • Apply advanced software technology to analyze potential fuel air explosion scenarios in critical areas of the asset
  • Perform detailed analysis to develop screening level loads using CFD modeling
  • Record pressure time history results for each blast scenario 



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