Louvre blast relief wall systems for optimal ventilation
Risk reduction measures for fire and explosion hazards always being examined and assessed in order to keep on evolving and optimizing rules and regulations. Ventilation remains one of such an important measure because of its importance for controlling and reducing explosion overpressure.
Is article all about the positive effects of ventilation in offshore oil and gas structures and Louvre wall systems.
There are two positive effects of ventilation in offshore oil and gas structures, namely that it decreases the total inventory that may contribute to an explosion and it decreases the probability of cloud forming.
An open offshore platform provides the best conditions for effective ventilation on the platform. Such oil and gas platforms are generally located in the Far East and The Gulf of Mexico because of the climate. Platforms in the North Seas have a far more cold climate and are also in need of a certain degree of weather protection. In the past, three types of measure have been taken in order to solve this:
- A complete enclosure of modules coupled with the use of forced ventilation;
- A partial enclosure of modules, leaving some sided open;
- A complete enclosure of modules with louvred walls.
Below we will take a closer look at louvre wall systems.
Louvre wall systems
The primary function of a louvre wall system is to allow for air to flow through with as little flow resistance as possible. Simultaneously, they need to be able to exclude moisture such as spray and rain. An additional feature of louvre walls is the restriction of excessive air flow due to strong winds.
In some cases, louvre walls are installed and in other cases louvre and blast relief panels are installed on the already existing wall systems. This choice depends on the project specifications of each structure. The blast relief louvre panels provides both weather protection and natural ventilation.
Louvre blow out blast relief cladding specifications
Generally, louvre blast relief cladding systems are lightweight systems that relieves at a blast overpressure of 0.05 bar in 20 ms. The fixings will straighten up, causing the panels to open and vent the pressure of the explosion. Due to their lightweight they can be installed in a short period of time. The maintenance of such a system in case of damage is very easy and cost saving.
Installing louvre walls thus have a beneficial effect on the ventilation of the structure and help to release the pressure of a blast.
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