1D plane numerical model for boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE)

G. A. Pinhasi*, A. Ullmann, A. Dayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The depressurization of a vessel containing saturated or subcooled liquid may occur in a variety of industrial processes and often poses a potentially hazardous situation. A 1D plane numerical model was developed for estimating the thermodynamic and the dynamic state of the boiling liquid during a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) event. Based on the choice of the initial nucleation sites density, the model predicts, simultaneously, the bubble growth processes in the liquid at the superheat-limit state, the front velocity of the expanding liquid, and the shock wave pressure formed by the liquid expansion through the air. Conditions of shock formation were found to be normally associated with high initial temperatures that can bring the liquid to its superheat-limit state during the initial depressurization. Furthermore, the high initial temperature also induces a generation of higher vapor pressures that forces a rapid mixture expansion. Model predictions of the shock wave strengths, in terms of TNT equivalence, were compared against those obtained by simple energy models. As expected, the simple energy models over predicts the shock wave strength. However, the simple model which accounts for the expansion irreversibility, produces results which are closer to current model predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4780-4795
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Blast pressure
  • Explosions
  • Flashing
  • PLG
  • Safety


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