Enhancing fire risk evaluations of plant structures using finite element analysis



Advanced software can be used to enhance risk evaluations with fire and explosion simulations concerning the survivability of offshore drilling structures as well as major plant structures. This article focuses on simulated heat loads from fires showing structural responses due to thermal radiation fluxes, associated applied mechanical loads, and different fire protection features.

Early simulation of fires (fires and their actual region of impact) allow for effective fire safety measures to be incorporated into the structure, for example, adding better passive fire protection measures where needed or substituting heavy steel with lighter alloys where local fire consequences are less severe.

This article shows how three computer programs are utilized for optimizing the engineering design of structures, for example, offshore platforms, floating storage and offloading vessels, office buildings. This type of evaluation can produce significant cost savings by simulating realistic fire scenarios based on fundamental engineering principles and local conditions. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2012