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Forces on Piping Bends due to Propagating Detonations

[+] Author Affiliations
Thomas C. Ligon, David J. Gross

Dominion Engineering, Inc., Reston, VA

Joseph E. Shepherd

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Paper No. PVP2011-57278, pp. 89-104; 16 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 5: High-Pressure Technology; Nondestructive Evaluation; Nuclear Engineering
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4455-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper reports the results of experiments, analytical models, and finite element simulations on the structural response of piping systems to internal detonation loading. Of particular interest are the interaction of detonations with 90° bends and the creation of forces that lead to axial and bending structural response of the piping system. The piping systems were fabricated using 304 stainless steel, 2-in. (50 mm) diameter schedule 40 commercial pipe with a nominal wall thickness of 0.154-in. (3.8 mm) and welded construction to ASME B31.3 standards. The piping was supported using custom brackets or cantilever beams fastened to steel plates that were bolted to the laboratory walls. Nearly-ideal detonations were used in a 30/70 H2 -N2 O mixture at 1 atm initial pressure and 300 K. The detonation speeds were close (within 1%) to the Chapman-Jouguet velocity and detonation cell sizes much smaller than the tube diameter. Pressure, displacement, acceleration and hoop, longitudinal, and support strains were measured using a high-speed (1 MHz) digital data acquisition system and calibrated signal conditioners. Detonation propagation through a bend generates a longitudinal stress wave in the piping that can be observed on the strain gauges and is predicted by both analytical models and finite element simulations. The peak magnitude of the bend force is approximately twice that due to the pressure alone since the peak momentum flux of the flow behind the detonation front is comparable to the pressure in the front. With relatively simple models, quantitative predictions of the bend forces can be made for the purposes of design or safety analysis of piping systems with internal detonations.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Force , Explosions , Pipes



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