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BFETS Phase 1

Blast and Fire Engineering for Topside Structures Phase 1

Project Duration: 1990 - 1991

PROJECT SUMMARY

The Blast & Fire Engineering for Topside Structures (BFETS) Joint Industry Project Phase 1 was a large JIP carried out in the wake of the Piper Alpha disaster. It started in May 1990 to collate, appraise and disseminate information on blast and fire loads, and on the resistance of structures and facilities to these loads. The findings of the work carried out during Phase I of the JIP were collated into 26 reports summarising the state-of-the-art in fire and explosion engineering in 1991.

Those 26 technical reports were grouped into the five following volumes:

  • General Information (G Series);
  • Fire Loading (FL Series);
  • Fire Response (FR Series);
  • Blast Loading (BL Series);
  • Blast Response (BR Series).
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Available Documents

HSE OTI 92 585
Generic foundation data to be used in the assessment of blast and fire scenarios & Typical structural details for primary, secondary and supporting structures/components

Work Packages G1(a) & G2

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report presents the findings from all activities associated with Work Packages G1(a) and G2. The work was carried out under the specific guidance of the Safety Working Group, established as part of this Project, with representation from fifteen Participating Organisations. The activities related to the collation and appraisal of data and information on existing North Sea…

HSE OTI 92 586
Representative range of blast and fire scenarios

Work Package G1(b)

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report presents the findings from activities associated with Work Package G1(b), and is concerned with the definition of a representative range of blast and fire scenarios. A report presenting the review of methods for predicting the rate of release of material has been issued as a separate self-contained G1(c) document.

Under the specific guidance of the Participants'…

HSE OTI 92 587
The prediction of single and two-phase release rates

Work Package G1(c)

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report summarizes and reviews information that is relevant to the prediction of the rate of release of material from vessels or pipework on offshore structures. The information contained in it has been obtained through searches in the open literature, by direct submissions from the organizations participating in the project and also following direct contacts with research…

HSE OTI 92 588
Legislation, codes of practice and certification requirements

Work Package G3

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report identifies, collates and summarizes the regulations, codes of practice and certification requirements which are used in the specification and certification of blast and fire-resistant structures.

The offshore industry uses a considerable number of regulations, codes and guidelines during the design of offshore facilities. Many are not specific to the industry and…

HSE OTI 92 589
Experimental facilities suitable for use in studies of fire and explosion hazards in offshore structures

Work Package G4

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report is a compilation of worldwide experimental facilities suitable for the study of explosion hazards. Facilities suitable for the purpose of fire research are given in the Report on Work Package FL3.

The purpose is to provide means of identifying:

  • Experimental facilities with current or potential ability to carry out such studies;
  • Potential resources for conducting any…
HSE OTI 92 590
The use of alternative materials in the design and construction of blast and fire resistant structures

Work Package G5

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

The current use of alternative materials (alternative to steels) in explosion and fire-resistant structures is reviewed in this report. This study attempts to gather the existing knowledge together so that an essential understanding may be established regarding the general availability of explosion and fire-resistant structures constructed in alternative materials and their…

HSE OTI 92 591
Gas/vapour build-up on offshore structures

Work Package BL1

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report summarises and reviews information that is relevant to the prediction of gas or vapour build-up in offshore structures. The information contained in it has been obtained through searches in the open literature, by direct submissions from the organisations participating in the project and also following direct contacts with research workers or organisations known to…

HSE OTI 92 592
Confined vented explosions

Work Package BL2

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report reviews theoretical and experimental research into confined vented explosions and it is only relevant to the problem of essentially empty volumes.

It is concluded that the majority of "classical" methods for predicting peak vented explosion overpressures are inappropriate to the general offshore explosion problem. There are two reasons for this. First, they do not…

HSE OTI 92 593
Explosions in highly congested volumes

Work Package BL3

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report reviews information on theoretical and experimental research into explosions in highly congested volumes. This information is relevant to the problem of predicting explosion overpressures in most offshore modules.

Current understanding of the detailed mechanisms responsible for explosion in confined, congested volumes such as offshore modules is limited and an active…

HSE OTI 92 594
The prediction of the pressure loading on structures resulting from an explosion

Work Package BL4

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report reviews information on theoretical and experimental research relevant to the prediction of loads on structures resulting from explosions in offshore modules. In the cases of the simplest explosion models and experimental data these properties can be inferred, provided the user has an adequate degree of insight into the explosion process. No clearly defined…

HSE OTI 92 595
Possible ways of mitigating explosions on offshore structures

Work Package BL5

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

If not checked or relieved by appropriate design, explosions in offshore platforms have the potential to cause structural damage and lead to further much larger releases of fuel, escalating a relatively minor release into a major disaster. If a flammable cloud is partially or completely confined by walls or a roof within a volume containing pipework obstructions, then very high…

HSE OTI 92 596
Oil and gas fires: characteristics and impact

Work Package FL1

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report is an appraisal of:

  • Current knowledge of the characteristics and consequences of large, open oil and gas hydrocarbon fires of relevance to offshore safety;
  • The ability to predict fire properties for hazard assessment and fire engineering.

The report is for technical representatives of Participating Companies and use as a desk-top reference manual by staff directly…

HSE OTI 92 597
Behaviour of oil and gas fires in the presence of confinement and obstacles

Work Package FL2

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report is an appraisal of:

  • Current knowledge on the characteristics and hazards produced by hydrocarbon fires in offshore structures where there are degrees of confinement and presence of obstructions;
  • The ability to predict fire behaviour for hazard assessment and fire engineering.

The report should be read with that on open fires, FL1.

This report is directed to…

HSE OTI 92 598
Current fire research: Experimental, theoretical, and predictive modelling resources

Work Package FL3

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report is a compilation of worldwide fire science and engineering activities.

The purpose is to provide means of identifying:

  • Fire knowledge and research relevant to offshore safety;
  • Potential resources for conducting any necessary further investigations.

Organisations and individuals approached were:

  • Individual engineers and scientists known to be active in fire science and…
HSE OTI 92 599
The effects of simplification of the explosion pressure-time history

Work Package BR1

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

When analysing the response of a structure subjected to blast loading, for practical purposes it is essential to simplify both the structure and the loading. This report concentrates on the effects on response caused by idealisation of the blast load.

By studying some pressure-time histories recorded during gas/vapour cloud explosion blast tests, an insight into the kind of…

HSE OTI 92 600
Explicit analytical methods for determining structural response

Work Package BR2

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report reviews simplified methods of analysis for determining structural response due to blast loading on offshore platforms. Blast loading results from a very low probability postulated event, so it may generally be assumed that the stresses and strains are permitted to exceed those normally utilised as a limit in conventional elastic design. With such a severe loading…

HSE OTI 92 601
Computerised analysis tools for assessing the response of structures subjected to blast loading

Work Package BR3

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

Partially confined vapour cloud explosions will generate pressure loading onto wall and deck elements. The pressure rise time and duration will be relatively long compared to the natural period of the structural elements. The response of the structure is therefore usually in the quasi-static or dynamic regime and rarely in the impulsive regime.

A severe explosion is a low…

HSE OTI 92 602
The effects of high strain rates on material properties

Work Package BR4

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

An extensive literature survey has been carried out on strain rate effects in steel. The reason for considering this effect is that its omission or inclusion in the design process could potentially influence the following:

  • The size of the required structural components in terms of dimensions and weight;
  • The performance/response of the structure in terms of deflections;
  • The…
HSE OTI 92 603
Analysis of projectiles

Work Package BR5

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

A survey has been undertaken of the various mechanisms that may result in missiles being created by a incident in an offshore Module.

This includes rupture of vessels and missiles generated by the blast wind load.

A literature review has also been conducted with particular reference to projectiles weighing up to 5 kg impacting targets at velocities at up to 200 m/sec.

Experimental…

HSE OTI 92 604
Experimental data relating to the performance of steel components at elevated temperatures

Work Package FR1

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

In this work Package, an examination of the temperature dependent material properties for the various types of steels that are commonly found in offshore installations has been made.

Two broad groupings of steel material types are identified. These are the structural steels (low carbon steels which belong to material standards BS 4360, BS 7191 and API Grade 5L) and 'boiler'…

HSE OTI 92 605
Methodologies and available tools for the design/analysis of steel components at elevated temperatures

Work Package FR2

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

In Work Package FR2, the methods and tools available to undertake the analysis of structures and components of steel structures under fire-loading conditions have been examined.

Previous work on the subject includes simulation and prediction of the behaviour of passive fire protection in furnace fire tests. This has proved to be an economical tool for the comparative evaluation…

HSE OTI 92 606
Passive fire protection: Performance requirements and test methods

Work Package FR3

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report appraises the performance requirements for offshore passive fire protective systems and assesses the adequacy of current tests for ensuring that performance. It considers the many aspects related to installation, durability under service conditions in the pre-fire phase, exposure to fire conditions likely to be experienced offshore, and the effects of explosions.

The…

HSE OTI 92 607
Availability and properties of passive and active fire protection systems

Work Package FR4

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This report contains a selection of the various types of passive fire protection products which are currently being used on offshore structures. For active fire protection products, proprietary products have not been listed, only the current status is reviewed.

Passive fire protection products can be classified into the following generic types: cementitious or vermiculite sprays…

HSE OTI 92 608
Existing fire design criteria for secondary, support and system steelwork

Work Package FR5

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

This reports reviews the available information on the design of secondary steelwork when subjected to fire. During the preparation of this report, little information was identified which directly related to fire design criteria for secondary support and system steelwork. The reader is advised to refer, for additional general information, to the technical report on the package…

HSE OTI 92 610
Thermal response of vessels and pipework exposed to fire

Work Package FR7

BFETS Phase 1
Published in 1992

Fire attack of vessels and pipework containing hydrocarbon on offshore platforms can lead to escalation if loss of containment occurs. The appropriate emergency response depends on a firm understanding of the vulnerability of vessels and pipes to different fire types, a ranking of the equipment most at risk, predictions of the time available for countermeasures, and the hazard…

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