January, 2002

200201JanAll DayExplosionsProcess Safety BeaconLessons:Control of WorkLanguage:EN Origin: CCPS Document Type:BulletinTopics:Flammable Atmospheres


Every year, hundreds of equipment items are damaged in an explosion. These events are often described in familiar terms:

• A flammable vapor, air and an ignition source generate pressure,
• Which ruptures piping/buildings/equipment (like these column trays),
• Leading to property damage, downtime, lost business and, in some cases, serious injury or death to personnel in the immediate area.

There are many ways to prevent explosions – this message will BRIEFLY discuss one : How much flammable material is needed to generate an explosion? The short answer is – in most cases, LESS THAN YOU MIGHT THINK!

© AIChE | Messages for Manufacturing Personnel


CCPSCenter for Chemical Process Safety