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Published July 14, 2013 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Response of Piping Tees to Propagating Detonations


This paper reports the results of experiments and finite element simulations on the structural response of piping systems to internal detonation loading. Specifically, the work described in this paper focuses on the forces that are produced at tee-junctions that lead to axial and bending structural responses of the piping system. Detonation experiments were conducted in a 2-in. (50 mm) diameter schedule 40 piping system that was fabricated using 304 stainless steel and welded to ASME B31.3 standards. The 4.1 m (162-in.) long piping system included one tee and was supported using custom brackets and cantilever beams fastened to steel plates that were bolted to the laboratory walls. Nearly-ideal detonations were used in a 30/70 H2-N2O mixture at 1 atm initial pressure and 300 K. Pressure and hoop, axial, and support strains were measured using a high-speed (1 MHz) digital data acquisition system and calibrated signal conditioners. It was concluded that detonations propagate through the run of a 90° tee with relatively little disturbance in either direction. The detonation load increases by approximately a factor of 2 when the detonation enters through the branch. The deflections of the cantilever beam supports and the hoop and axial pipe strains could be adequately predicted by finite element simulations. The support loads are adequately predicted as long as the supports are constrained to the piping. This paper shows that with relatively simple models, quantitative predictions of tee forces can be made for the purposes of design or safety analysis of piping systems subject to internal detonations.

Additional Information

© 2013 by ASME. We acknowledge the very substantial contributions of Dr. Raza Akbar in designing the TS-1 specimen as well as constructing and operating the test facility at Caltech. The work described in this paper was performed in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Project (contract number DE-AC27-01RV14136), under subcontract to DOE prime contractor Bechtel National, Inc. The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the Unites States Government retains, a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes.

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