Energetic Materials Blast Information Group (EMBIG)

Three years ago, in discussion with industry and government agencies, the need for a group to develop the knowledge required to ensure the safe processing, transportation and storage of explosives was identified. SCI was asked to establish and host the new group which has been named EMBIG, the Energetic Materials Blast Information Group. The Group was launched in August 2018 and today has 11 members that include government agencies, explosive manufacturers, consultants and the Health and Safety Executive. EMBIG aims to improve the knowledge available to those involved in assessing the safety of sites for the storage, manufacturing and handling of explosive materials by providing a forum for the development and exchange of best practise.

Shortly after its launch, the Group identified a number of existing computer codes that are commonly used for assessing structures for explosives use. These relatively simple and fast running codes were developed in the 1970s and 80s by the US army, but there are a number of issues with them including:

  • Availability: some of these codes are classified and only available to organisations working for the US Government;
  • Support: the codes are generally unsupported;
  • Age: being 1970s and 80s codes, most are not compatible with modern IT environments;
  • Lack of updates: a number of these codes have not been updated to reflect modern knowledge.

For these reasons, EMBIG is now developing new software for the calculation of blast effects on structures for use by its members. SCI has completed the development of the first module of this software which calculates the free field effects of explosive charges based on the latest available research.

The HSE is an active member of the group and sees it as an opportunity to develop a common approach to producing structural justification documents for energetic material storage and manufacturing facilities. To further this aim a joint EMBIG/HSE full day seminar is being held in London on 19 June 2019 to provide guidance on the use of the CBI/EIG guide 'The Use of Structural Justification to Underpin an HSE/ONR Explosives Licence'. The seminar will cover the legal and regulatory framework and will be illustrated by practical case studies. To register for the seminar, please click here.

Anyone interested in further information about EMBIG should contact Bassam Burgan.

EMBIG Calculation Software  EBIG Blast