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Modelling the effects of BLEVE blast on a building spanning an underpass

Author: Suddle, S.I. · Weerheijm, J. · Berg, A.C. van den · Vambersky, J.N.J.A.
Source:9th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management 2008, PSAM 2008, 18-23 May 2008, Hong Kong, 1660-1667
Identifier: 472034
ISBN: 9781622765775
Keywords: BLEVE · Explosion effects · Multiple use of space · Structural dynamics · Transport of hazardous materials


The use of space is being intensified near and above transport routes of hazardous materials. In The Netherlands, some buildings are even realized above infrastructure with transport of hazardous materials like LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). An accident with an LPG-tank may result in a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion), causing injuries and large structural damage to the spanning building and the vicinity. Fortunately, such disasters are scarce up to now. However, one should be aware of that such accidents may occur and escalation from accident to disaster should be prevented. This paper presents an analysis of structural measures to control the consequences for the spanning building when the explosion occurs in the underpass. There is little background literature that addressed the same problem, i.e. structural control of explosion effects for buildings above infrastructure with transport of LPG. In this paper explosion effects were modelled and the dynamic response of the structural elements and the main bearing structure of the building were analyzed using engineering techniques. Recommendations to limit and control damage are given, in which safety measures could be integrated in structural and functional building design.