April 2016 Breakfast Meeting – Consequence Models – Storage Tank Applications

The Chicago SFPE chapter held their monthly meeting in a different format, a breakfast meeting. The Venue was Egg Harbor Café in Elmhurst, Illinois. The attendees were generally pleased with the location and food. Dan Fritz, President, announced that we will consider more early-format meetings in the future.

The speaker was Judy Krumpolc, an engineer with Axa-Matrix Risk Consultants, who provided an interesting discussion of flammable liquid storage tank fires, consequences, industry standards and modeling. The discussion focused on pool fires, defined as: turbulent diffuse fire burning above a horizontal pool of vaporizing fuel where that vapor has zero initial momentum. Consequence models being utilized include PHAST, NIST FDS, CIRRUS and others. Wind effects and drag on flames are considerations. Flame radiation modeling was discussed where view factors, atmospheric transmissivity and emissive power are the key inputs. Typical thermal criteria of interest at target surfaces include, 2 kW/sq m for >10 minutes, at level at which steel loses strength; 6.3 kW/sq ft, a level at which a firefighter in bunker gear can survive and fight a fire; and, 8 kW/sq m, a threshold for cooling adjacent tanks to keep fuels from igniting.

Related standards of interest include NFPA 30 and FM datasheet 7-88. Modeling together with standards application provide data for decisions on minimum tank spacing and other items of interest.

(submitted by K. Mniszewski)