AbstractVapor cloud explosions (VCEs) continually generate an extreme blast load and cause heavy casualties, property loss, and environmental pollution. It is therefore essential to evaluate and control the consequence of vapor cloud explosions. So far, the widely used models in vapor cloud explosions include the Trinitrotoluene (TNT) equivalency method (TNT EM), the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) multienergy method (TNO MEM), the Baker-Strehlow-Tang (BST) method, and FLACS. In this paper, a review and comparative analysis of vapor cloud explosion models were carried out. Combined with a realistic petrochemical plant with different obstacle blockage ratio, the side-on overpressure and duration were evaluated and analyzed with different vapor cloud explosion models. Based on the predicted blast load, the structural response of RC columns, including nonseismic columns and seismic columns with different cross sections, were studied through computer simulation. Vapor cloud explosion models were compared with each other from the perspective of the structural response. It was found that the selection of vapor cloud explosion models has a great influence on the dynamic response of RC columns; the TNO multienergy method was the most conservative method in all vapor cloud explosion models, but its failure mode was quite different from FLACS in the scenario with a high blocking ratio. The predicted results from the Baker-Strehlow-Tang method were closest to that of FLACS. The structural response of the TNT equivalency method was close to that of the TNO multienergy method with the influence of the blast wave shape in Scenario 1. This work points out the applicable characteristics of each load model, which can provide some suggestions for the blast-load evaluation of vapor cloud explosions in the RC column design.

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