Research / Research

Improved Means of Offshore Platform Fire Resistance

Project Number
Progress Date
Project Initiation Date
Performing Activity
Principal Investigator
Mr. Robert G. Bea & Mr. William E. Gale & Mr. Robert B. Williamson
Contracting Agency
Minerals Management Service

The objective was to develop risk-based design guidelines for protecting offshore structures from explosions and fire. The most predominate cause of structural failure on offshore platforms is ductile collapse from exposure to fire. Most design codes focus on developing adequate structural resistance for various combinations of environmental and operational loads accounting for cyclic-loading effects (fatigue), etc., but largely neglect platform performance under fire conditions. Fire loads on a structural system impose a progressive limit state that can be characterized in terms of a heat-flux level and thermal robustness. Residual fire strength design capacity necessary to meet fire performance targets can be established, thereby allowing designers to achieve structural designs with quantified inherent levels of fire resistance. This, in turn, will allow designers to better define required mitigation measures, such as fire resistive coatings, in order to sustain platform utility. This is a joint effort between the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Bea, R. G., Gale, W. E., Williamson, R. B..
Bea, R. G., Gale, W. E., Williamson, R. B..