GexCon heralds next generation of fire risk modelling with release of FLACS-Fire

GexCon, a world leader in sophisticated and user-friendly dispersion, explosion and fire modelling software, today announces the release of a landmark software package, FLACS-Fire. Tailor-made for the oil and gas, processing, and industrial segments, FLACS-Fire combines optimal usability with an unparalleled ability to generate detailed models of jet and pool fires.

With over 35 years of experience in developing safety and risk management software, GexCon is a globally recognised authority in its field. FLACS, first released in 1986, is the industry standard in 3D CFD (computational fluid dynamics) gas dispersion and explosion modelling software, and FLACS-Fire completes its hazard modelling capability.

“Fire modelling has been the missing link for our users, particularly in the offshore oil and gas segment, where high momentum jet fires and pool fires are major hazards,” comments GexCon Vice President Products, Djurre Siccama.

“This new software, which can be used as an add-on to FLACS or a standalone product, addresses that – meaning users no longer have to resort to using simple formulas, or less user-focused and sophisticated packages, to model fires. It creates a ‘one-stop-shop’ for safety engineers; a single modelling platform for enhanced understanding, efficiency, and, most of all, safety.”

FLACS-Fire has been in development for the past eight years, with a dedicated team working to create a package that dovetails seamlessly with FLACS – sharing the same simple interface and advanced modelling characteristics. This translates to an easy learning curve for users, increased workflow efficiencies (with no need to switch between software, or employ standalone formulas), and fast, accurate results.

“It’s what the industry has been asking for,” Siccama continues. “All the advantages of FLACS in a full 3D, CFD, fire-specific package. This will lead to greater efficiencies, detailed modelling – with our ability to include geometry such as equipment and piping, which affects fire behaviour – and tangible savings for client companies. For example, they can now create cost effective, optimised designs, while also increasing safety, by only installing fire prevention measures where they’re actually needed, rather than throughout an entire facility. In that way FLACS-Fire represents a truly unique investment.”

The extensively validated, Windows and Linux-supported package models a wide range of scenarios, including, but not limited to, jet fires in cross winds, flash fires, over ventilated compartment fires, and large-scale field experiments. Typical application areas include escape route impairment (modelling heat, smoke, visibility etc.), vessel heat-up modelling, offshore and onshore installations, and factory building fires.

“This is a milestone for GexCon,” states CEO Sturle Pedersen. “We now have a fully comprehensive explosion, gas dispersion and fire modelling proposition, built on decades of expertise and an intimate knowledge of our customers and their business areas. Through continual development we aim to consolidate GexCon’s market position and enhance our software, delivering on our commitment to ‘safety first’ for all our customers, in all their industrial segments, all around the world.”

Alongside its software proposition, GexCon also offers consultancy services and provides dust and gas explosion testing, as well as qualitative explosion safety assessments. The firm’s software and services have been used to assess a wide range of incidents, including Piper Alpha, Deep Water Horizon, TWA 800, the P-36 platform, Buncefield, and the Texas City Refinery explosion in 2005.

GexCon is owned by Christian Michelsen Research and is headquartered in Bergen, with additional offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, UAE, Indonesia and Italy.

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