Infrastructure Protection with Blast Shields
Blast Shields for Petrochemical and Manufacturing Use
Blast mats play an important role in minimizing risk in petrochemical manufacturing facilities and research labs. Wherever the danger of a chain-reaction explosion is present, you'll find TM International products delivering advanced protection against fires, explosive forces and flying debris.
Some of the main industrial hazards our products protect against include:
- Explosive chemicals: Working with or transporting explosive chemicals can be a major challenge in industrial manufacturing facilities and research labs. TM International products include petrochemical explosion-control blast walls and related protective devices that ensure that, in the event of an accident, your staff, infrastructure and key assets are protected.
- Industrial boilers: The accidental release of pressure from an industrial boiler can be just as dangerous as a chemical explosion. Our blast mats are often used to provide a measure of protection for the foundation and other structural components of a manufacturing plant should a boiler explosion occur.
TM International products are easy to set up and take down, making them excellent for temporary use. Our clients also use our explosion venting panels and other products to retrofit older facilities and bring them in line with modern safety standards. Blast walls feature a modular design that can be scaled up or down as needed. As a result, they offer a complete turnkey solution for any industrial manufacturer in need of short- or long-term explosion protection.
Contact TM International to Learn More
Our products are lightweight, durable and engineered to deliver advanced protection in the most demanding situations. To learn more about our full selection of petrochemical blast mats for sale, as well as related products such as explosion venting panels, keep browsing our website. To speak with a representative directly, call or email our head office today.
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T.M.I Helped Save Lives
CSB Investigation Report-Pesticide Chemical Runaway Reaction Pressure Vessel Explosion:
Investigation Report- http://www.csb.gov/assets/1/19/Bayer_Report_Final.pdf
Blast Shields in Action: The Bayer CropScience Explosion
The right protective equipment can play a major role in minimizing the scope of an industrial accident. This is particularly true in petrochemical and manufacturing facilities, where the presence of hazardous and explosive materials creates the potential for catastrophic damage.
Following a 2008 explosion at a Bayer CropScience chemical plant in West Virginia, investigators determined that TM International, LLC blast shields were highly effective at containing projective damage and radiant heat.
Though the incident — which was determined to be largely preventable — was not without casualties, TM International, LLC blast relief panels helped contain the scope of the damage and arguably prevented it from causing further loss of life.
The incident occurred at 10:35 pm on August 28, 2008, at a Bayer CropScience insecticide manufacturing facility in Institute, West Virginia. Following a period of downtime for routine equipment upgrades, pressure accumulated in the facility's residue treater, causing an explosion which led to the release of a highly flammable solvent known as methyl isocyanate (MIC).
This solvent quickly caught fire and burned for four hours, leading to two deaths and eight injuries and confining 40,000 nearby residents to their homes and causing road closures due to toxic smoke.
Follow-up investigations by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) identified several issues which led to the blast:
- Failure to apply pre-startup safety review practices, including testing and calibration of the residue treater, before restarting the control system.
- Inadequate staff training on the proper use of the facility's distributed control system.
- Equipment malfunction which caused the facility's crystallizers and solvent recovery equipment to operate improperly.
- The use of an out-of-spec methomyl solvent mixture in the residue treater.
- A higher-than-normal concentration of methomyl in the residue treater, which triggered a chain reaction leading to over-pressurization and eventual explosion.
How Blast Shields Helped
TM International, LLC blast shields had been installed in the CropScience facility to protect its MIC day tank. The day tank, located near the residue treater, contained 6,700 gallons of highly flammable methyl isocyanate solvent. Subsequent testing found that the day tank was unharmed by the incident.
As part of their investigation, the CSB team employed sophisticated computer models to evaluate the effectiveness of our product. They found that "the residue treater exploded with the force of about 17 pounds of TNT equivalent, many orders of magnitude lower that the energy-absorbing capacity of the ballistic shield." As a result, "the blast mat provided highly effective protection to the MIC day tank against radiant heat from an external fire and penetration from very small projectiles traveling at near sonic velocity."
Had the day tank been compromised as a result of the explosion, the damage would have been far more severe for workers onsite and area residents. Worst-case event analysis modeling found that damage to the day tank could have resulted in the release of toxic MIC vapor into the atmosphere.
A series of failures led to the explosion at the Bayer CropScience plant, but it was ultimately the presence of proactive safety equipment that mitigated the scope of this serious incident by preventing the release of MIC into the atmosphere. Going forward, Bayer CropScience announced that they would immediately begin storing MIC underground and ultimately phase out its use altogether.
As a result of the CSB investigation, in 2015 the manufacturer agreed to pay $5.6 million — an amount which included a $975,000 fine as well as $4.23 million to improve emergency preparedness and response at the Institute plant — and $452,000 to improve safety at its chemical storage facilities nationwide.