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Analysis of thermohydraulic explosion energetics

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4 Author(s)
Buttner, Ralf ; Physikalisch-Vulkanologisches Labor, Universität Würzburg, Germany ; Zimanowski, Bernd ; Mohrholz, Chris-Oliver ; Kummel, Reiner

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Thermohydraulic explosion, caused by direct contact of hot liquids with cold water, represent a major danger of volcanism and in technical processes. Based on experimental observations and nonequilibrium thermodynamics we propose a model of heat transfer from the hot liquid to the water during the thermohydraulic fragmentation process. The model was validated using the experimentally observed thermal energy release. From a database of more than 1000 experimental runs, conducted during the last 20 years, a standardized entrapment experiment was defined, where a conversion of 1 MJ/kg of thermal energy to kinetic energy within 700 μs is observed. The results of the model calculations are in good agreement with this value. Furthermore, the model was found to be robust with respect to the material properties of the hot melt, which also is observed in experiments using different melt compositions. As the model parameters can be easily obtained from size and shape properties of the products of thermohydraulic explosions and from material properties of the hot melt, we believe that this method will not only allow a better analysis of volcanic eruptions or technical accidents, but also significantly improve the quality of hazard assessment and mitigation.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:98 ,  Issue: 4 )