May 2012

Terminals and Storage 2012 Supplement

Severe jet fires and vapor explosions

Operators should consider alternative test procedures, capable of reproducing conditions found within jet fires.

Bradley, I., International Paint

Jet fires are pressurized releases of hydrocarbons that result in impinging flames with significant momentum. The potential for jet fire exists wherever storage, process equipment or pipe work contains flammable gas or liquid/gas (two-phase) mixtures at pressures approximately 2 bar or greater. At such pressures, choked flow occurs and the gas, flashing liquid or two-phase flow reaches sonic velocities. Jet fires can, therefore, have a significant erosive force, unlike hydrocarbon pool fires. Jet fire characteristics vary significantly depending on a number of factors, such as the type of jet fire previously described and the mass release rate (which itself depends on the pressure and hol

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