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Ejection of Flammable Liquids During Loading and Unloading: A Preliminary Experimental Investigation

[+] Author Affiliations
Todd M. Hetrick, Delmar (Trey) Morrison, Juan C. Ramirez

Exponent, Inc., Warrenville, IL

Paper No. IMECE2013-66262, pp. V015T12A008; 5 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 15: Safety, Reliability and Risk; Virtual Podium (Posters)
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5644-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Flammable liquids in industrial settings, e.g., the shop floor or laboratory, may sometimes be transferred or handled in small containers. Pouring a flammable liquid from one container into another presents a hazard potential for static electric discharge and subsequent ignition of the flammable liquid vapors. This phenomenon is well-known and industry guidance documents are available. This risk is usually mitigated with appropriate safeguards against the generation of static electricity or other potential ignition sources.

In the instances where an ignition source is present, ignition of the flammable vapors accompanying the liquid pour or in the headspace of the container may occur. If the flammable vapor space above the liquid surface is ignited, the ensuing overpressure and fluid conditions may be sufficient to eject some of the liquid from the container. Flammable liquid ejection can potentially result in the projection or transport of fire over large distances with severe consequences.

In this study, we perform a series of bench scale experiments. We aim to determine and investigate the factors influencing the ejection of flammable liquids during loading and unloading of small containers. Developing a better understanding of the parameters governing this phenomenon may allow for the design of engineering safeguards to assist in the prevention of flammable liquid ejection.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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