Piping systems constitute the most critical portion of process plants. Proper blast and fire design of critical piping systems improve safety and resiliency. Design of piping and pipe supports are typically governed by operating and abnormal load conditions depending on the design basis. Well established analysis and design methodologies as per the applicable ASME codes ensure performance of piping systems against load cases such as internal pressure, thermal expansion, self-weight, wind, seismic and vibration. Pipe stress analysis using code based linear elastic analysis methods allow design for these types of conventional load cases in a practical way. However, beyond design basis load cases from hydrocarbon accidents including explosion and fires can pose additional challenges. Limitations of conventional design tools against demands due to extreme events require use of more advanced techniques. This study presents a practical approach for assessment and design of piping systems for hydrocarbon accident events. Performance based failure criteria for piping systems has been shown to reduce the conservatism compared to allowable stress design for extreme events. Examples from major projects and case studies are also presented to demonstrate the technical approach. Consideration of a holistic approach accounting for interaction of piping and its support structure plays a key role in improving the design process.

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