Solutions Where None Exist; Novel Approach to Projectile Arresting Material and Technology

Pressure testing facilities historically have involved large concrete or steel barriers, they are a predetermined size and structure which might be inadequate in years to come. In environments such as facilities where high pressure components are manufactured or recertified, it is common that equipment is transported to a specific test facility and placed within a fixed pre-existing barrier for testing. Where pressurized equipment is operated or tested in the field, such as offshore drilling rigs or onshore well sites during the hydraulic fracturing process, the only means to mitigate this danger is to clear the immediate area of non-essential personnel; until now.

As pressures go up in drilling and completion, concern about protection from those high pressures also go up. Protection while pressure testing and certifying equipment used in these operations is becoming more important. Recent trends in industry have shown an evolution into larger sized testing articles, additional company or state regulations determining testing is required, and pressure testing being conducted in areas where traditional methods simply cannot be implemented. The burden is on the owner to engineer appropriate safeguards when testing at high pressure, which has created a need for mobile, adaptable, cost efficient, and effective blast protection systems.

Blast Control offers engineered protective barrier solutions where none exist with traditional equipment. These barriers are constructed using revolutionary textiles and materials that make them flexible, modular, mobile, and efficient to use. Their versatility makes a multitude of configuration options possible such as suspended curtain arrangements or structure-less enclosures formed by simply wrapping a barrier around equipment and connecting it back to itself. It can improve the safety of the operation; reduce the nonproductive down time needed for evacuation of personnel during testing and it is modular and can be configured to any work process anywhere. Blast Control Systems has developed and implemented projectile barrier systems in different pressure testing applications including hydraulic fracturing protection, numerous pneumatic and hydrostatic pressure testing systems, and high-pressure line wrapping, to name a few.

The system is based on an energy absorbing composite textile material that can be layered based on the size and velocity of projectiles and combined with other technologies to meet pressure test safety regulations. The system has been tested by third parties and the engineering technology has been developed to be able to offer a mobile and modular test containment system. The proper application of the technology insures that the system is equivalent to the potential threat. This system can be developed and configured in virtually any size as sections can be connected in a manner that is impenetrable. Blast Control’s products are proven to have the same projectile stopping capability of ¼ inch steel or 4 inches of reinforced concrete, and they weigh just ¾ pound per square foot. This paper defines a number of design parameters in consideration when implementing blast protection, gives insight about the existing safety regulations within the industry and the need for improvement, overviews Blast Control’s innovative blast protection system, and includes a few case studies using Blast Control Systems next generation test barriers.