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Vessel Design for Unintended Detonation: A Comparison of Alternative Code Rules

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

Dominion Engineering, Inc., Reston, VA

John C. Minichiello

Bechtel National, Inc., Richland, WA

Paper No. PVP2016-63685, pp. V004T04A022; 12 pages
  • ASME 2016 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 4: Fluid-Structure Interaction
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 17–21, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5040-4
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


The Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) will process waste slurries that have the potential to generate flammable gases and will utilize a number of atmospheric vessels to store these slurries at various stages of the waste treatment process. Throughout the design process, provisions have been made to ensure that these flammable gasses are vented from these vessels and to eliminate potential sources of ignition. However, Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) would like to be able to demonstrate that these vessels are capable of withstanding a limited number of unintended detonations.

It is well known that pressure vessels may be designed for internal detonations. However, these loadings tend to cause very brief transients of high stress that can make traditional stress-based design rules to be difficult to meet. In the past decade, a number of strain-based design methodologies have become available, including ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC), Section VIII, Division 2, Part 5; ASME Section VIII, Division 3; ASME Section VIII, Division 3 Code Case 2564; and API 579-1 / ASME FFS-1. Each of these sets of rules permits some degree of plasticity in vessel design, but there are key differences in the specific provisions.

In this paper, the use of these different sets of Code rules will be demonstrated in the context of the design of a WTP vessel for a single unintended detonation, and the advantages and disadvantages of these alternative design approaches will be discussed.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Explosions , Design , Vessels



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