Overpressure Due to a Molten Aluminum and Water Explosion in a Casthouse
Explosions of molten aluminum and water are a very serious safety risk in aluminum casthouses. Although prevention of these explosions is of paramount importance, understanding the overpressure resulting from an explosion is important for worker protection and to the design of blast-proof control rooms and protection of other equipment. Overpressure has traditionally been assessed using a simplistic principle of decreasing overpressure with distance, which neglects the significant, complex interactions of the blast wave with walls and other bodies, resulting in regions of high overpressure not captured using simpler hand calculations. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling presents a method to analyze the problem in three dimensions. Blast analysis of a full casthouse with a conventional, commercial CFD code can be time-prohibitive. This paper presents a methodology to predict overpressure due to a molten aluminum- water explosion in a casthouse using a novel CFD code – EXN/Aero developed by Envenio Inc. Results for a typical casthouse are presented for use in the design of control rooms and other equipment.