What are Explosion Panels?

An explosion panel, also known as a rupture panel, is a safety device that is installed to safeguard equipment or building premises against internal explosion incurred due to excessive pressures. With the help of pressure relief technique, the explosion panel activates and releases its pressure as soon as its opening pressure exceeds the ambient pressure. Explosion vents are one of the most cost-effective methods to mitigate the consequences of gas or dust explosions and are engineered for venting deflagrations. Major applications of explosion panels are to control or prevent from dust, gas, or mist explosion.

Some Advantages of Explosion Panels

  • These vents or panels offer optimum relief at or below burst pressure, even when damaged.
  • They need little maintenance and are easy to replace. A few types of explosion vents and panels are designed for single-use, whereas some are reusable.
  • These vents and panels are extensively available in different shapes such as round, square, and rectangle with various dimensions and sizes.
  • Rectangular shape panels are segmented into two different shapes such as rectangular domed and rectangular flat panels. The rectangular domed explosion vents are engineered for high vacuum and high-cycling applications such as dust collectors and bag houses.
  • This design is more durable and negative pressure resistant without additional vacuum support. The rectangular flat panel is made from stainless steel and offers long-term durability.

Working Requirements

Explosion vent construction must balance the contradictory need for "low inertia" and "high strength". Inertia negatively affects an explosion vent's efficiency. High strength is needed to endure the considerable forces that move the vent's venting element in order to open the venting orifice. Unintended disintegration must not cause disintegrating parts to turn into a missile.

During normal venting, the explosion is freely discharged, enabling flames to exit the premise or process being protected. When the protected vessel or pipe is located indoors, ducts are generally utilized to safely convey the explosion outside the building. However, ductwork has its own set of disadvantages and may result in decreasing venting efficiency. Flameless venting, in combination with explosion vents, can extinguish the flame from the vented explosion without the utilization of expensive ducting, limitations to equipment location, or more costly explosion protection.

History of Explosion Panels

The origin of the most widely utilized vent sizing methods can be traced back to the nomograph method which was designed and created by Verein Deutscher Ingienieure (VDI) in 1979 and then adopted in the USA in 1988 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This method is derived from large-scale testing by Donat (1971) and Bartknecht (1978) along with some theoretical work by Heinrich (1974). This involved the product characterization for the rate of pressure rise and maximum pressure in a 1m 3 test vessel.

Over the years several modifications to the nomographs were made majorly by widening the range of applicability and eventually the formula was produced in VDI 3673. It is the same basic formula that was utilized in VDI 3673, NFPA 68, and EN14491 up until 2007 when NFPA 68 decided to utilize a different method.

Market Dynamics

According to a detailed report by Growth Market Reports, the global explosion panels market was valued at USD 295.9 million in 2020 and is anticipated to reach USD 384.5 million by 2028, expanding at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period, 2021-2028.

Increasing utilization of explosion panels by several end-user industries including oil & gas, automobile, and energy & mining is one of the major factors contributing to the market growth. Rising number of rules & regulations regarding protection from industrial fire or explosion is going to affect the market.

Trends and Developments

  • Several benefits and features offered by these panels over other substitutes are key factors anticipated to drive the growth of the explosion panel market.
  • Lack of awareness about such availability of safety systems among people and the need for replacement of explosion panels after utilization are few factors hampering the market growth.
  • Increasing demand for such panels by industries such as healthcare and power generation is creating lucrative opportunities in the market.
  • Increasing investments by several industries are projected to increase significantly to improve safety measures related to explosion and fire safety.
  • Industrial safety plays an important role in protecting their employees, workers, industrial environment, surrounding infrastructure, equipment, and assets. This, in turn, is augmenting the demand for industrial safety equipment in the oil & gas, automotive, and construction industries.

COVID-19 Impact on the Market

The coronavirus pandemic has led to financial havoc across the globe. It had pressurized the manufacturing industry to come to a halt. However, the market is slowly recovering. Manufacturers are adopting technologies to make the overall system less dependent on humans. Besides this, the industries are seeking for local players to meet their requirements.

The outlook of impact can be divided under the following possible scenarios:

  • According to the optimistic scenario, the global explosion panels market is anticipated to remain under the massive impact of COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2020, and from the second quarter, the demand is expected to rise.
  • Under the probabilistic scenario, the market is expected to remain under the strong influence of the crisis until the second quarter, and from the third quarter onwards, the situation will alleviate.

Segmentation Analysis

On the basis of types, the global explosion panels market is categorized into dome shape and flat shape. The flat shape segment held over half of the market share in 2020 and is projected to continue the trend during the forecast period. The domed-shaped single section metal explosion vents are known for having integral gaskets. A dome shape is formed to resist vacuum. Both panels are available in flat, round, and rectangular design to be fixed on the structure for protection against explosion. It is designed for static or atmospheric pressure service conditions. These panels require to be installed in a safety frame with vacuum support bars to resist vacuum or back-pressure. Both types of explosion panels/vents are suitable for positive pressures of up to 60% of the minimum burst pressure. Based on applications, the market is segregated into dust explosion, gas explosion, and others. The gas explosion segment accounted for a market share of more than 38% in 2020. Based on end-user industries, the market is fragmented into oil & gas, automobile, chemical, pharmaceutical, food & beverages, and others. The pharmaceutical segment is projected to expand at a substantial CAGR during the period from 2021 to 2028. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the vital industries, as it offers lifesaving medicines and several essential products.

Regional Outlook

In terms of regions, the market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at a significant pace during the forecast period, attributing to the growth of a significant number of industries and rising demand for explosion panels by these industries. Also, the market in the Middle East & Africa and Latin America is anticipated to expand at a substantial CAGR owing to the rise in industrialization and increasing oil & gas exploration and production activities.

Competitive Landscape

Prominent players in the market include Fike Corporation, Construction Specialties, Inc., Halma plc, BS&B Safety Systems, L.L.C., Continental Disc Corporation, and Atex Explosionsschutz GmbH.

The prominent players in the market are utilizing strategies such as product launches, mergers & acquisitions, and contracts & collaborations. These strategies are expected to deliver effective goods and high-performance goods, supporting market laws, and better client satisfaction.

  • In September 2018, Fike Corporation declared the opening of a full-service office and manufacturing facility in JAFZA. This opening of a fully-fledged office in Dubai helped the company to bolster its operations and strengthen its presence in Middle East and North Africa.
  • On February 18, 2020, Elfab which is a company of Halma plc entered into a partnership with Induchem for widening Elfab’s market reach as well as pressure relief solutions offerings for process industries. This partnership is focused on making Elfab’s product spectrum extensively accessible in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.