Blast Suppression Dampers

blast damper, blast suppression damper

Blast suppression dampers are mechanical devices installed in ventilation ductwork and wall openings that are designed to instantly close when exposed to the elevated pressures caused by an explosion.

The purpose of blast suppression dampers is to isolate the ductwork and prevent the propagation of damaging blast overpressures into the interior of buildings, infrastructure, and critical facilities. 

By closing off ducts and vents when an exterior blast event occurs, the blast suppression damper protects assets and occupants inside from being impacted by high-intensity shock waves that could destroy equipment, collapse structures, and cause serious harm to people.

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The purpose of blast suppression dampers is to isolate the ductwork and prevent the propagation of damaging blast overpressures into the interior of buildings, infrastructure, and critical facilities.

Why Blast Suppression Dampers Are Needed

Blast suppression dampers are critical safety devices for facilities that are at risk of exterior explosion events, whether accidental or intentional.

Environments such as government buildings, embassies, data centers, offshore oil platforms, chemical plants, refineries, gas pipelines, and mining operations require blast dampers to mitigate potential threats. 

An explosion or blast wave entering unprotected ductwork can result in catastrophic consequences including building collapse, infrastructure destruction, equipment failure, propagation of fire and harmful gases, and most critically, loss of human life.

How Blast Suppression Dampers Work

Blast suppression dampers feature spring-loaded blades that are normally held open at a 45-degree angle to minimize disruption to airflow. When pressure from an explosion reaches the damper, overcoming the calibrated spring tension holding the blades open, the blades rapidly close to isolate the ductwork.

Springs are tuned to specific blast threshold pressures so dampers will close only when an actual explosion event occurs, and not inadvertently under normal system pressures.

After an explosion, the closed blades lock in place using linkages so they cannot reopen during the negative pressure phase following a blast wave.

Once the event has passed, the dampers must be manually reset to restore ventilation capabilities.

Technicians returning the multi-blade damper assemblies to the open position must inspect for any damage and verify proper operation before re-arming the spring tension.

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Key Performance Testing and Certifications

Independent third-party testing and certification are critical to validate the performance claims of blast damper manufacturers. There are several key methods and standards used:

  • Shock tube testing simulates actual explosive blasts and pressures to test operation and survival under precise blast loads. This confirms closure activation at required thresholds.
  • GSA TS01 guidelines and ASTM F1642 provide standardized shock tube methodologies to allow accurate comparative testing.
  • ASTM E1886 and ASTM E1996 evaluate damper resilience against debris impact, simulating blast-driven projectiles.
  • Aerodynamic testing per EN 1751 guidelines verifies nominal airflow and pressure loss meet HVAC system needs.
  • Certification to standards like ATEX demonstrates suitability for hazardous environments with explosion risks.

Verifiable test data from reputable labs demonstrating blast dampers meet or exceed such codes and methods assures their ability to withstand specified blast pressures and properly activate to protect facilities.

Types of Industrial Dampers

Damper Manufactures

venco fans manufacturer

Venco Dampers

United Enertech Supplier, united enertech distributor

United Enertech

hartzell industrial fans

Hartzell Fans

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We are official distributors for the manufacturers listed below. As official representatives, we’ll be happy to help explain the best damper for your application. Contact us for a quote or any information regarding their products.

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Sourcing Blast Suppression Dampers

When sourcing blast suppression dampers there are key considerations:

Look for manufacturers with proven experience designing, producing, and testing dampers to meet rigorous blast applications.

Reputable suppliers should have reference lists of major installed projects. Check that they follow formal quality systems and are certified to ISO standards relevant to damper fabrication.

Ideal vendors have in-house engineering expertise in blast effects and ductwork dynamics. They should offer pressure-level options appropriate to your risk levels. Also, confirm they can deliver installation-ready designs to integrate with your HVAC systems.

For further inquiries on sourcing blast-certified and shock-tested dampers optimized for your application, contact R. Williamson & Associates sales engineers.

Providing Ventilation Equipment to the Following Industries
Providing Industrial Ventilation Products to the Greater Chicago area & WE Ship Nationwide

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We are official representative covering Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and we ship nationwide.

We can also send out a trained specialist to assess the area and make certain the proper unit is being used for your specific application. 

We run tests on-site to see how cost effective each model will be to assure maximum efficiency.

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