Prescription for use of vapor explosion retardant into salt water

Masahiro Furuya*, Takahiro Arai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Vapor explosion has been causing disasters in many industries such as metalwork and paper industries. One of the countermeasures is retardant additives into water to stabilize the vapor film which separates two liquids. A spontaneous vapor explosion of a molten tin jet at 700 oC was suppressed with only 0.03 wt% polyethylene glycol aqueous solution for molecular weight of 4×106 g/mol. This is because the solute deposited near the vapor-liquid interface due to the cloud-point phenomenon, that stabilizes vapor film and prevents the solution from mixing finely. Salts are known additives to act as vapor-explosion promoter. Increasing salt concentration requires denser PEG solution to suppress vapor explosion: e.g. 0.03 wt% PEG for water, while 0.07 wt% PEG for sea water and 3 wt% sodium chloride aqueous solution. These salt solutions were selected for practical relevance in industrial disasters. A solid sphere quenching experiment indicates that this threshold concentration of PEG can be determined by the quenching temperature of the solid sphere: the contact temperature of the solid sphere with solution must be sufficiently low (e.g. spontaneous-bubble nucleation temperature of the solution) to suppress the vapor explosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2439-2446
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Heat Transfer Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event16th International Heat Transfer Conference, IHTC 2018 - Beijing, China
Duration: 2018 Aug 102018 Aug 15


  • Film boiling
  • Quenching
  • Retardant
  • Salt
  • Sea water
  • Triggering
  • Vapor explosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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