Case Name, Disaster of Chemical Plant at Flixborough. Pictograph. Date, June 1, Place, Flixborough, UK. Location, Cyclohexanone oxidation plant. Flixborough. disaster. vapour cloud explosion. cyclohexane. loss prevention. risk assessment J.G. BallAfter the Flixborough Report: do we know the real truth?. 1 June is the 40th anniversary of the Flixborough disaster, The Flixborough Plant before the explosion – official report, TS 84/37/1.
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I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Critics of the inquiry report therefore found it hard to accept its characterisation of the plant as ‘well-designed’. The debate and argument continue to this day e. The only calculations made were of the capacity of the assembly needed to carry the required flow. Significant overpressures could be developed where the release was large, and ignition delayed: Lees’ Loss Prevention in the Process Industry 3rd edition.
It had jack-knifed completely at the lower mitre joint and apparently collided violently with the plinth after being projected forcibly downwards. After fresh cyclohexane and recycle cyclohexane were scrubbed with water in a cooling scrubber, they were heated in a direct heat exchanger.
The management of major hazard installations must show that it possessed and used a selection of appropriate hazard recognition techniques, [S] had a proper system for audit of critical safety features, and used independent assessment where appropriate.
Only limited calculations were undertaken on the integrity of the bypass line. Skip to content Skip to navigation.
At Flixborough, 28 workers were killed and 36 others onsite suffered injuries. Cause After the No. HSE could then choose to — in some cases generally involving high risk or novel technology — require [x] submission of a more elaborate flixborlugh, covering as appropriate “design, manufacture, construction, flixborougg, operation and maintenance, as well as subsequent modifications whether of the design or operational procedures or both”.
But before we do so we should ask if a lamb might do. Because the plant suffered wide-scale destruction, the first step of the countermeasure was to rebuild the plant according to the lessons learned from the disaster.
Flixborouvh of Occupational Accidents: Each of the bellows had disintegrated into a few large pieces, all of which were found in the vicinity of the failed pipe. It contained graphic information about the plant which gave us an invaluable insight into its construction.
The HSE website currently says “During the late afternoon on 1 June a 20 inch bypass system ruptured, which may have been caused by a fire on a nearby 8-inch pipe”. Government controls on the price of caprolactam put further financial pressure on the plant. Especially in plants that are treating hazardous materials, even relatively easy repairs or improvements of facilities should be made with thorough reference to the standards, and the design should be entrusted to professional engineers.
The modification flixborougb its supporting safety assessment then had to be approved in writing by the plant manager and engineer. This bypass was supported by scaffolding flixborouugh with supports provided to prevent the bellows having to take the weight of the pipework between them, but with no provision against other loadings.
Finite element analysis has been carried out and suitable eyewitness evidence adduced to support this hypothesis. Such a combination of errors is very unlikely ever to be repeated. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. The leaks having been dealt with, early on 1 June attempts began to bring the plant back up to pressure and temperature.
Case Details > Disaster of Chemical Plant at Flixborough
The reason for why the bellows fractured by shear stress, was that the temporary pipe was installed without examining what the effect of a slight pressure rise on the bellows would be. As plants have got larger we have moved This assumption was later confirmed by a metallurgical investigation showing that zinc embrittlement on austenitic stainless steel at a temperature of between and degree C could occur in a pipe under a stress of 3.
No calculations were done to ascertain whether or not the bellows or the temporary pipe would be able to withstand the strains that would occur as a result of a slight rise in pressure.
The plant was re-built but cyclohexanone was now produced by hydrogenation of phenol Nypro proposed to produce the hydrogen from LPG;  in the absence of timely advice from the Health and Safety Executive HSE planning permission for storage of te LPG at Flixborough was initially granted subject to HSE approval, but HSE objected  ; as a result of a subsequent collapse in the price of nylon it closed down a few years later.
The bending moment, caused by the action of this slight rise in pressure, was strong enough to tear the bellows.
Construction of the plant had required planning disawter approval by the local council; while “an interdepartmental procedure enabled planning authorities to call floxborough the advice of Her Majesty’s Factory Inspectorate when considering applications for new developments which might involve a major hazard”  there was no requirement for them to do sosince the council had not recognised the hazardous nature of the plant  they had not called for advice.
It was so informative, we had an argument about whether to focus on the disaster itself or the possible causes of it. At first, it was assumed that the assembly failed as a result of a small external explosion following the prior rupture of a nearby 8in.
The Court could still be right that a single unsatisfactory modification caused the disaster but this is no reason for complacency. Wed 4 Jun at 2: Stationery Office Books May Language: Because the reactors were mounted on a sort of staircase, this pipe was not straight but contained two bends.
In order to keep strong control in the plant, the level fflixborough authority for authorisations must be clearly defined.
Flixborough (Nypro UK) Explosion 1st June 1974
The cyclohexane oxidation process is still flixbofough in much the same plant design in the Far East. These requirements applied not only to changes to equipment, but also to process changes. For major modifications this would include an ‘operability study’ ; for minor modifications a checklist-based safety assessment was to be used, indicating what aspects would be affected, and for each aspect giving a statement of the expected effect.
The explosion was estimated to be equivalent to 15—45 t TNT at the Inquiry.