News | 3.15.2016

PEC Engineers Apply UFC 3-340-02 to Analyze Explosions

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The vast majority of explosions are controlled, such as in an internal combustion engine, a demolition, or a quarry.  However, when an accidental or terrorist explosion takes place, people and structures in the vicinity of the explosion are subject to extreme danger primarily from fragments and failed building debris caused by the explosion.   These hazards can cause significant injury or death to inhabitants and a tremendous amount of damage to physical assets.

UFC 3-340-02 “Structures to Resist the Effects of Accidental Explosions” provides a guideline for design to increase safety of personnel and equipment from accidental explosions.  This document is developed for the U.S. Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board (DDESB) to provide protection against an accidental explosion of stored or manufactured high explosives.  It includes methods to calculate blast and fragment loads from accidental explosions of manufactured explosives that detonate or deflagrate and to design structures and barricades that will provide different levels of protection to personnel and equipment against these loads.  Blast-resistant design based on UFC 3-340-02 is typically required for U.S. Department of Defense facilities and industrial facilities owned and operated by their contractors where weapons and other explosives are manufactured and stored.  UFC 3-340-02 is also referenced in DoD 6055.9M and DoD 4145.26M, which are ammunition and explosives (A&E) explosive safety standards for manufacturing and storage by the DoD and their contractors.  Many of the design concepts in UFC 3-340-02 are also used for design against explosions from terrorist threats (i.e. anti-terrorism design) and from fuel-air explosions, vapor cloud explosions, bursting pressure vessels, and other explosions not caused by the accidental explosion of manufactured explosives. The engineers at PEC have extensive experience designing explosive storage and manufacturing facilities to meet the requirements of UFC 3-340-02 and using protective design concepts from this UFC and other U.S. government and industry guidelines to design against many different types of explosive loading.  This includes a recent contract for the U.S. Navy and DDESB for the most recent update to the UFC 3-340-02 in 2014.