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author

Kelly Thomas
Adrian Pierorazio
Martin Goodrich
Massimiliano Kolbe
Quentin Baker
Don Ketchum

published on

September 2003

A set of large-scale unconfined vapor cloud explosion tests involving ethylene-air mixtures in a congested environment has been performed. The congested region was 48 feet long by 12 wide by 6 feet high. A regular array of vertical circular tubes provided the congestion for these tests. The tubes were arranged with a pitch-to-diameter ratio of 4.5 and provided area and volume blockage ratios of 23% and 4.2%, respectively. The test rig was configured without any confinement (i.e., no wall or roof sections). The fuel-air mixture completely filled the congested region in these tests, but did not extend beyond it. Deflagration to detonation transitions (DDT) were observed near the end of the test rig for mixture concentrations ranging from lean (5.9% C2H4) to rich (9.3% C2H4). On the basis of these experiments, it is concluded that it may be possible for high reactivity fuel mixtures to undergo a DDT with conditions representative of typical process plants.

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Kelly Thomas

Adrian Pierorazio

Martin Goodrich

Massimiliano Kolbe

Quentin Baker

Don Ketchum