When it comes to things that go boom, terms such as explosion, deflagration, and detonation are often incorrectly used interchangeably. To help clear things up, this blog will go into the technical definitions of explosions, deflagrations, and detonations, as well as the appropriate time to use each term.
An explosion is a sudden, rapid release of energy that produces potentially damaging pressures.
When a gaseous fuel fills a space, it needs to mix to a certain air-fuel concentration to create an explosive atmosphere. When an ignition source is introduced into the explosive atmosphere, it creates a flame that travels away from the ignition site and expands the burned gases behind the flame front. When an explosion is confined, it creates a restraint of the expanding gases and results in an increased pressure within the enclosure. When the enclosure ruptures, this is what most people think of when they hear the term explosion. However, explosions don’t always need to be confined. The flame speed in explosions can be quick enough to produce compression waves and cause damage with little or no confinement. Read More…