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Large-scale studies of gas detonations.

Burgess-DS; Murphy-JN; Hanna-NE; Van Dolah-RW
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 7196, 1968 Nov; :1-53
The characteristics of gas-phase detonations were observed in 20 instrumented firings within earthen tunnels, in 100 such detonations in a 24 -in-diam by 163-ft-long steel pipe, and in about 200 smaller scale firings. Most of the fuels studied were representative hydrocarbons--acetylene, propane, gasoline, and a roughly equimolar mixture of methylacetylene, propadiene, and propane. In a pipe with two closed ends, the detonable limits were demonstrated to be very nearly the same as reported limits of flammability. The side-on impulses (pressures integrated over 200-msec intervals) were shown to be the same function of concentration regardless of whether deflagration or detonation had occurred. In a pipe with only the initiation end closed, the impulses of all fuel-air systems tended toward the same level when averaged over comparable ranges of fuel concentration; the lower pressures with saturated hydrocarbons were nearly compensated by longer durations of pressure transient. In all fuel-air systems, unexpectedly high impulses were obtained with slightly lean mixtures. In earthen confining structures, the impulse of the explosion was efficiently converted into momentum of the failing wall. In the configurations studied, an earth velocity of about 20 fps was critical to overcome the soil's resistance to shear. The destructive effect was determined by gas pressure rather than by total energy release. The assignment of a "TNT equivalent" to an explosive gas mixture is discussed in terms of the confinement of the mixture.
Mining-industry; Explosions; Explosives; Explosive-gases
74-86-2; 74-98-6; 74-99-7
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Report of Investigations
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Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 7196
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division