Support Business related to Damage Assessment caused by BLEVE Phenomenon Explosion


The BLEVE Phenomenon
On January 4th of 1966, a valve flew open during operation of the Feyzin oil factory in the outskirts of Lyon, Southern France. The valve belonged to a LP Gas spherical tank containing 1200kl of Propane, and LP gas leakage lead to a disaster of explosion and fire.
This is known to be the first Large-scale Fire and Explosion Accident that shed light on the BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion) phenomenon.

BLEVE is an explosion phenomenon caused by sudden phase changes of gas.

Resources like Liquefied petroleum gas (also called “Propangas” in Germany) are normally stored inside pressurized vessels as a liquid substance.
If a fire starts close by and heats these pressurized vessels, the liquid inside will evaporate and raise pressure on the inside. (Image 1(a)) If the vessel is damaged under these circumstances, the inner pressure will decrease instantly to match the atmospheric pressure and the vaporisation of fluids at once (Image 1(b)) will cause an explosion.(Image 1(c))
Futhermore, the vaporised LP gas will spread to the surroundings, catch fire, and cause a Unconfined Vapor Cloud Explosion. (Image 1(d)) This is the BLEVE phenomenon.
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Image 1 BLEVE Phenomenon
The details of the above phenomena, as well as the steps in which a crack in the vessel develops into a catastrophe due to some unknown reason is yet to be explained,
though it has been pointed out to be a logical mechanism.

Experiments have been preformed to investigate the BLEVE phenomenon (clip 1), but in many cases, “simulation research”, said to be the third science after theory and experiment, has been used to investigate this matter. (clip 2)
(clip 1) (clip 2)
Simulations to solve these explosion phenomena have occasionally been blast evaluation using non-conservative schemes (such as TNT model, multi-energy model), but in this particular case, it is difficult to evaluate the safety at distant locations despite there being no problem for locations near the explosion.
This is due to the scarcity of general fluid computation codes that can handle high order, EOS(e.g. JWL) of any choice for a conservative scheme. The blast safety evaluation including distant locations require a conservative scheme fit for shock wave problems as well as a good scalability to allow parallel computation.

To investigate these problems related to blast wave evaluation, we estimate blast wave damages and maximum range of fires, evaluate influences to surrounding structures and the human body as well as the mutual interference of blast waves, and verify a plan to keep damage at a minimum using CFD++ numerical simulation.
We can also create videos for an easier understanding of the phenomena (Visualization techniques), as can be seen in CLIP2.
Please use this as an opportunity to evaluate situations capable of evolving out of hand, as well as plan preventive measures to prevent the spreading of damage caused.


  • Please contact us with any questions or comments that you may have.


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