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Small Scale Experiments on Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions: Supercritical BLEVE

[+] Author Affiliations
Delphine Laboureur, Jean-Marie Buchlin, Patrick Rambaud

von Karman Institute, Rhode-St-Genèse, Belgium

Paper No. PVP2012-78283, pp. 51-60; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 9: Rudy Scavuzzo Student Paper Symposium and Competition
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 15–19, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5508-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The most dangerous accident that can occur in LPG storage is the boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE). To better understand the rupture of the reservoir and the blast wave characteristics, small scale BLEVE experiments are performed with cylinders of 95 ml, filled at 86% with propane, laid horizontally and heated from below. A weakening of the reservoirs on the upper part allows better reproducibility of the rupture. High speed visualization, blast overpressure and surface reservoir temperature are measured.

Internal pressure measurement shows that the rupture pressure and temperature are well above the critical point. The fluid is then supercritical and there is no distinction anymore between liquid and gas prior rupture. This kind of reservoir rupture is significant of a new type of BLEVE, a supercritical BLEVE. The experiments also show that the fluid behavior during rupture differs with the size of the weakened part and therefore with the rupture pressure. Finally, the measured peak overpressures are compared with literature models.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Vapors , Explosions , Boiling



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