Gas explosion is the most hazardous incident occurring in underground airways. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques are sophisticated in simulating explosions in confined spaces; specifically, when testing large-scale gaseous explosions, such as methane explosions in underground mines. The dimensions of a confined space where explosions could occur vary significantly. Thus, the scale effect on explosion parameters is worth investigating. In this paper, the impact of scaling on explosion overpressures is investigated by employing two scaling factors: The Gas-fill Length Scaling Factor (FLSF) and the Hydraulic Diameter Scaling Factor (HDSF). The combinations of eight FLSFs and five HDSFs will cover a wide range of space dimensions where flammable gas could accumulate. Experiments were also conducted to evaluate the selected numerical models. The Large Eddy Simulation turbulence model was selected because it shows accuracy compared to the widely used Reynolds' averaged models for the scenarios investigated in the experiments. Three major conclusions can be drawn: (1) The overpressure increases with both FLSF and HDSF within the deflagration regime; (2) In an explosion duct with a length to diameter ratio greater than 54, detonation is more likely to be triggered for a stoichiometric methane/air mixture; (3) Overpressure increases as an increment hydraulic diameter of a geometry within deflagration regime. A relative error of 7% is found when predicting blast peak overpressure for the base case compared to the experiment; a good agreement for the wave arrival time is also achieved.


Mining Engineering


This work is financially supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51504045). Gas Explosion Lab of China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) provided the platform for experimental study.

Keywords and Phrases

Combustion simulation; Gaseous explosion; Large eddy simulation (LES); Scale effect

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Mar 2016