Blast resistant modules, often simply referred to as BRMs, are security structures specifically designed to protect personnel by withstanding the blast forces created by an explosion from industrial accidents or deliberate terrorist bombings. In addition to protecting lives, blast resistant modules also safeguard critically important equipment.
The modular design and configuration options make BRMs an excellent choice for any facilities at risk for accidental or intentional explosions. And because these modular structures are essentially portable, they can be located in numerous types of facilities such as:
Unfortunately, given the multitude of variables involved in an explosion, including blast duration, magnitude, type of explosive and detonation distance, there really aren’t structures that are 100% blast-proof or bomb-proof. A blast resistant module exists to minimize the damage caused by explosions. This is why "blast resistant" is the correct term to use much the same way that there isn't really a "bulletproof window".
Explosions are rapid releases of concentrated energy in the form of heat, sound, light and of course, a shockwave. The shockwave is the key element here as its destructive energy moves outward from the blast epicenter in ALL directions. The further the shockwave travels away from its origin – its energetic force dissipates exponentially. While explosions are very powerful, they are incredibly short-lived, beginning and ending within millieconds. This is called blast duration and engineers use this knowledge to calculate and design the structural walls of the BRM to withstand and survive these near-instantaneous explosive forces. Learn more about the Anatomy of an Explosion at Proto-Talks.
Architects and engineers also take into account “standoff distance” – a measurement of how far away the detonation is from the building or BRM. This is why many important buildings are protected by large plazas that prevent a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) from getting too close. Blast resistant modules are thus designed to specifically withstand explosive shockwaves.
Engineers calculate potential blast forces based on the building’s location and type of building materials with the goal of mitigating the potential damage from an accident or terrorist event. There are no universal standards for BRMs at this time. However, there are best practices defined by the American Petroleum Institute (API 752 & 753) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE 41088).
Security structures are buildings such as guard houses, gate houses, watch towers and storage units that are not specifically designed for blast protection and therefore have not been tested against explosions. Nevertheless, these building are vital elements to a facility because they provide additional perimeter security and access control that can help identify and stop terrorist attacks and thus prevent an explosion from ever taking place.
Yes. Some security structures can be UL 752 rated, providing protection against various types of firearms. The Protogetic Filter allows you to address your project's specific requirements by searching for ballistic resistant security structures with UL 752 1-10 ratings.
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