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Numerical Simulation of Hydrogen Explosion Tests with a Barrier Wall for Blast Mitigation


We have investigated hydrogen explosion risk and its mitigation, focusing on compact hydrogen refuelling stations in urban areas. In this study, numerical analyses were performed of hydrogen blast propagation and the structural behaviour of barrier walls. Parametric numerical simulations of explosions were carried out to discover effective shapes for blast-mitigating barrier walls. The explosive source was a prismatic 5.27 m3 volume that contained 30% hydrogen and 70% air. A reinforced concrete wall, 2 m tall by 10 m wide and 0.15 m thick, was set 2 or 4 m away from the front surface of the source. The source was ignited at the bottom centre by a spark for the deflagration case and 10 g of C-4 high explosive for two detonation cases. Each of the tests measured overpressures on the surfaces of the wall and on the ground, displacements of the wall and strains of the rebar inside the wall. The blast simulations were carried out with an in-house CFD code based on the compressive Euler equation. The initial energy estimated from the volume of hydrogen was a time-dependent function for the deflagration and was released instantaneously for the detonations. The simulated overpressures were in good agreement with test results for all three test cases. DIANA, a finite element analysis code released by TNO, was used for the structural simulations of the barrier wall. The overpressures obtained by the blast simulations were used as external forces. The analyses simulated the displacements well, but not the rebar strains. The many shrinkage cracks that were observed on the walls, some of which penetrated the wall, could make it difficult to simulate the local behaviour of a wall with high accuracy and could cause strain gages to provide low-accuracy data. A parametric study of the blast simulation was conducted with several cross-sectional shapes of barrier wall. A T-shape and a Y-shape were found to be more effective in mitigating the blast.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Japan

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