High-pressure pipeline ruptures are a credible explosion hazard at many industrial facilities. The blast field generated by a pipe rupture is highly directional. However, there have been few evaluations of the directional blast loads produced by pipe ruptures. This paper addresses the blast loads generated by a typical “fish mouth” type pipe rupture. The effects of five key parameters on the resulting directional blast field were examined: rupture opening speed, final rupture opening area, pipe diameter, initial gas pressure, and initial gas temperature. The resultant blast loads were compared to those based on existing blast curves for Pressure Vessel Bursts (PVB), the most common of which is based on an assumption of a spherical vessel geometry and instantaneous failure of the entire pressure vessel boundary. The effective gas volume (i.e., number of pipe diameters) required to achieve reasonable agreement between the blast load based on existing PVB blast curves and that resulting from a high-pressure pipeline fish mouth rupture for a specified direction was determined.

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