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A Simplified Design Model for Modular Steel Buildings Subject to Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCEs)

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 5 ]


Osama Bedair*   Pages 9 - 17 ( 9 )


Background: Modular Steel Buildings (MSB) are extensively used in petrochemical plants and refineries. Limited guidelines are available in the industry for analysis and design of (MSB) subject to accidental Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCEs).

Objectives: The paper presents a simplified engineering model for Modular Steel Buildings (MSB) subject to accidental Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCEs).

Methods: A Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) dynamic model is utilized to simulate the dynamic response of primary building components. Analytical expressions are then provided to compute the Dynamic Load Factors (DLF) for critical building elements. Recommended foundation systems are also proposed to install the modular building with minimum cost.

Results: Numerical results are presented to illustrate the dynamic response of (MSB) subject to blast loading. It is shown that (DLF)=1.6 is attained at (td/t)=0.4 for front wall (W1) with (td/T)=1.25. For side walls (DLF)=1.41 and is attained at (td/t)=0.6.

Conclusion: The paper presents simplified tools for analysis and design of (MSB) subject accidental Vapor Cloud BLAST Explosions (VCEs). The analytical expressions can be utilized by practitioners to compute the (MSB) response and identify the design parameters. They are simple to use compared to Finite Element Analysis.


Modular steel building, industrial facilities, vapour cloud explosions (VCEs), blast analysis, finite element analysis, accidental explosions, flammable materials.


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