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Area classification of flammable mists: Summary of joint-industry project findings

Gant, S., Bettis, R., Coldrick, S., Burrell, G., Santon, R., Fullam, B., Mouzakitis, Kyriakos, Giles, Anthony ORCID: and Bowen, Philip ORCID: 2016. Area classification of flammable mists: Summary of joint-industry project findings. Presented at: Hazards 26, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 24-26 May 2016. 26th Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium on Hazards 2016 (HAZARDS 26). Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series , vol. 161. Rugby, UK: Institution of Chemical Engineers, pp. 346-357.

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This paper presents the findings from a programme of research on mists produced from flammable or combustible fluids at temperatures below their flash points that was undertaken at the Health and Safety Laboratory and Cardiff University over the last four years. The purpose of the research was to improve our understanding of flammable mists and, in particular, to identify when leaks of high-flashpoint fluids may produce a flammable atmosphere and to help define the extent of the flammable cloud. The work was funded by a consortium of industry and regulatory sponsors. The research programme consisted of five main elements: 1.) A detailed literature review (presented previously at the Hazards XXIII conference) 2.) Development of a classification system for releases of high-flashpoint fluids 3.) Experiments to determine the ignitable range of droplet size and concentration for different classes of spray release 4.) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of the experiments and other releases relevant for area classification 5.) A final stage of analysis and comparison to area classification guidelines This paper concentrates on the final four elements. The experiments and CFD modelling considered three fluids: Jet A1 (kerosene, flashpoint = 38 °C), a hydraulic oil (flashpoint = 223 °C) and a light fuel oil (flashpoint = 81 °C). These were chosen as representative of the range of high-flashpoint fluids used across industry. A single release geometry was studied that involved an orifice diameter of 1 mm and a downwards-directed spray. For pressures where the spray was fully atomised, it was found that the CFD model using the 'DNV Phase III JIP RR Primary Breakup Model' provided reasonably good predictions of the droplet size and concentration. Predictions from the validated CFD model were compared to hazard distances presented in the EI15 Model code of safe practice. The paper concludes with amendments to some of the existing guidelines for area classification of mists.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Institution of Chemical Engineers
ISBN: 978-1-5108-2500-0
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 13:44

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