The core materials in Blast Control Barriers are specially engineered composite textiles capable of absorbing high amounts of energy over a distance. They are extremely cut resistant and the fibers actually become thicker in the impacted area. This science is similar to that of water filled plastic barrels which stop high speed vehicles without injuring passengers.
This can vary based on the number of core layers of energy absorbing material required to mitigate the threat posed by a particular application. The most common Blast Control Barrier design utilized in industrial applications contains 4 core layers and weighs about three quarters of a pound per square foot. This is much lighter than the weight of 1/4″ plate at over ten pounds per square foot. To illustrate, an 8′ x 8′ blanket would weigh approximately 50 lbs, while the same size steel plate would weigh in excess of 650 lbs.
Each Blast Control Barrier features an integrated anchoring system. A high strength steel or synthetic cable is incorporated in the perimeter. Access points around the perimeter allow the cable to be used for attachment to a structure, connecting the barrier to itself to form a self-contained enclosure, or to connect multiple barriers to one another. This system also provides uniform distribution of force throughout the barriers.
Typically, they are manufactured in dimensions of 25 feet or less but can be made in larger sizes. Blast Control’s patented Torque LockTM closure system allows barriers to be connected to one another and ensures the connection points are as impenetrable as the barrier itself. This modular design makes it possible to create an enclosure of virtually any size. The Torque LockTM system allows our barriers to be reconfigured for different applications and dimensions.
Yes, they have been tested and are currently being utilized in several applications to arrest fluid ejection at very high pressures.
The energy absorbing composite materials are encased in a protective cover which can be made from fire resistant materials to meet specific project requirements and can be insulated to provide increased levels of fire resistance. Blast Control does offer completely fire proof products such as its Helix SteelTM barriers.
Pressure alone is not the determining factor for product capability. The amount of energy a projectile possesses and the size of its impact area must be considered when designing any projectile barrier system. For this reason, Blast Control conducts an engineering analysis for each project in order to determine the appropriate barrier design for the application. A certain number of core layers can be utilized to provide adequate protection for virtually any reasonable pressure. Our four-layer system will handle most projectiles generated by 15,000 psi hydraulic pressure and many smaller projectiles at up to 25,000 psi. Each Blast Control product is an engineered solution.
For hydraulic applications volume is not typically a factor unless the volume is very large at a high pressure which is uncommon. For Pneumatic applications volume is a significant factor because in the event of a failure, a pressure wave can precede the projectile and may pre stress the blanket, lowering its capability to contain the projectile. Because a pressure wave impacts a large area of the blanket, its energy absorbing capability can be decreased. A pressure wave can be a greater stress on the system than the projectile itself. Our engineering practices and resources allow us to effectively design for large volume pneumatic applications.
This depends on the use and care of the system. The cover is not an essential part of the projectile arresting capability. In general, if the cover is in good shape the system is fit for use. The inspection criteria for our products are the same used for a nylon sling for lifting purposes. The industry standard for load carrying and impact resistant equipment the maximum recommended life is 10 years.
Unlike Kevlar, water does not affect the strength of our systems, nor do most common chemicals. The outer cover has a polyurethane inner coating and is very water resistant which limits the inner components’ exposure to contamination. If the system were to become saturated by submersion or extensive exposure to water, it should be dried out by hanging to prevent excess weight and the smell of a wet towel.
This depends on the total energy of the projectile and the use of the system dictated by the specific application. Our systems do not actually require the use of a structure. Blankets can be draped over or wrapped around the component being tested and connected back to themselves. For applications that require a curtain configuration, many times the curtains can be affixed to existing structure. In applications where a fairly large curtain system is being used to mitigate a small projectile, the weight of the curtain will absorb the energy. It simply needs is to be hung in place and we will provide modular, light weight truss systems for such applications. For high energy projectiles, we will engineer and design a structure according to the maximum loads at the anchor points.
The safety zone around a curtain system is one half of the distance between the closest two anchor points to the impact area. If a blanket is being used as a self-contained enclosure, allowances have to be made for the distance the blanket will move before it is constrained by the item being tested. Once an application is engineered we will prescribe a safety zone based on the final configuration. As an example, an 8′ long blanket would deflect no more than 4′ once the anchoring system is fully engaged.
If the cover is not damaged, the barrier is fit for use. The core materials are much more impact resistant than the cover and will not be damaged by anything that is not able to penetrate the cover. If the cover is penetrated by a projectile Blast Control should be contacted to determine a course of action for inspection. During product testing, the pressures were raised in subsequent tests and many blankets were impacted numerous times before a pressure capable of damaging the core materials was achieved.
Our Torque LockTM System requires no tools. Torque Pins are used to twist the cables together and are held in place by a Torque Panel. It is easier than setting up your average camping tent.
Blast Control’s products have successfully passed perforation and ballistic limit testing conducted by numerous independent third-party organizations. The parameters of these tests were formulated to specifically replicate various projectiles launched from failure of pressurized equipment utilized in industrial operations such as oil and gas. Our barriers have been impacted with projectiles ranging in size from one half inch diameter up to six inch diameter and at pressures up to 17,000 psi without failure. The barriers have been successfully tested against high pressure fluid jet at 24,000 psi. They’ve also successfully mitigated shrapnel from IEDs and RPGs detonated at point blank range. Additionally, Blast Control maintains in house live-fire testing capabilities utilized in ongoing R&D and product enhancement.