Next Phase of Research into DDT Events and Mitigation

One of the most devastating events that can occur on offshore facilities is a vapor cloud explosion (VCE) followed by a fire. Designing proper structures that can withstand maximum credible events (MCE) becomes an integral part of safety designs.

Gexcon has embarked on a multi-year project to fill technology gaps that have inhibited inherently safer designs in the petrochemical industry, namely:

  • Perform large scale experiments, similar to actual scales, to determine what factors initiate deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) and what measures can mitigate such events.
  • Enhance validated tools used to predict and mitigate such events

Gexcon US has partnered with SRI International to form a joint large-scale test site dedicated to determine what factors lead to the onset of DDTs and how to mitigate DDT events at practical scales found at petrochemical plants.

With the use of FLACS, the industry-standard computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code for explosions, Gexcon looks to enhance current understanding and validate FLACS prediction of the onset of DDT and the effectiveness of active mitigation. This will lead to improved facility design and improved implementation of inherent safety by reducing the likelihood of VCEs escalating to catastrophic events. In addition, the results of the research will yield an industry guide for guidance and recommended practices to reduce and/or mitigate explosion risk for offshore topside facilities. 

The video below summarizes the work that has been done to date:

Beginning in early 2018, Gexcon is starting a new phase of the project to evaluate the effectiveness of separation gaps and active mitigation measures. If you would like to participate in this novel research, please contact Dr. Scott Davis at, for more information.

Other Fire & Explosion Testing

New Paper shows CAM Model in Shell FRED performs well in predicting DDT

New Paper shows CAM Model in Shell FRED performs well in predicting DDT

The Shell FRED (Fire, Release, Explosion, and Dispersion) tool is a well-validated software tool for the prediction of the hazardous effects of accidental or intentional releases and is supported by over 40 years of physical testing and validation. A paper released in the July 2020 edition of the Journal of

News Shell
FLACS-CFD 20 coming soon

FLACS-CFD 20 coming soon

Gexcon is set to launch a major update to its flagship consequence modelling software later this year to offer users greater flexibility, digitalisation and integration capabilities. FLACS-CFD 20 will replace FLACS 10.9 from this autumn and represents a significant software upgrade, building on more than 40 years of industrial safety

FLACS-CFD News Software
Calling for Beta Testers of Shell FRED 2020

Calling for Beta Testers of Shell FRED 2020

Gexcon and Shell are excited to announce that we are working on a new version of Shell FRED for 2020. Shell FRED allows safety professionals to predict the consequences of Fire, Release, Explosion, and Dispersion from accidental and design releases of products from the process, storage, transport, and distribution operations.

News Shell Software

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