November 2013

Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

Protect processing plants against jet fires

The impact of jet fires on process equipment is critical, and it is important to examine possible design considerations that can mitigate many of the jet fire consequences.

Zolfkhani, M., Petrofac Engineering

When a pressurized piping or vessel that contains hydrocarbon gas leaks to atmosphere, it can catch fire and form a jet fire. The impact of jet fires on process equipment is critical, and it is important to examine possible design considerations that can mitigate jet fire consequences. Material alternatives and wall thickness (Wt) of the vessel exposed to jet fire are two key parameters discussed here. The rupture time of the process vessel in different scenarios is also examined. Jet fires can affect nearby equipment and piping, and expose them to a heat flux as high as 350 kilowatts per square meter (kW/m2). Although the entire plant is depressurized once a fire is detected, heated vessel

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