Standard Article

16 Explosion Safety

Part 1. Fundamentals and Safety

  1. Gordon E. Andrews,
  2. Herodotos N. Phylaktou

Published Online: 15 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9783527628148.hoc016

Handbook of Combustion

Handbook of Combustion

How to Cite

Andrews, G. E. and Phylaktou, H. N. 2010. Explosion Safety. Handbook of Combustion. 1:16:377–413.

Author Information

  1. University of Leeds, School of Environment and Materials Engineering, Energy and Resources Research Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2010


In this chapter, explosion stoichiometry is reviewed as air/fuel by mass for gases vapors, mists, and dusts. The measurement of lean flammability limits is reviewed, and legislated methods of measurement are outlined and compared with the previously accepted methods. The legislated methods provide about 15% leaner flammability limits than have previously been accepted. Applications of stoichiometry are discussed for explosion hazards, fuel tank explosions, and boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions (BLEVEs). The influence of temperature and pressure on flammability is reviewed. The problem of explosions in the vapor space of flammable liquid storage tanks is discussed, with aircraft fuel tank vapor space explosions as the main application. The generation of a wind ahead of an explosion is discussed, and linked to flame speed and burning velocity. The reactivity parameter KG, which is used in explosion vent design, is shown to be directly related to the laminar burning velocity. Explosion protection using venting is reviewed, and the physics underlying the legislated vent design equations described, together with some shortcomings in the design procedures.


  • Gas;
  • vapor;
  • aerosol;
  • dust;
  • flammability;
  • ventilation;
  • flame propagation;
  • explosion venting;
  • fuel tank vapor space explosions