Deflagrations are part of everyday life but are typically controlled, for example to power an internal combustion engine or cook food. A deflagration is a relatively slow burning (subsonic) exothermic reaction which propagates from the burning material (in general this can be a gas, vapor, dust, or any combination) and into the unreacted (unburned) material at a velocity that is less than the speed of sound in the unreacted material.
Most (but not all) explosions are deflagrations. In industrial facilities and manufacturing processes unwanted deflagrations can be a major concern that is designed for and accommodated, if not prevented. Particular attention is paid to avoiding deflagration-to-detonation-transition, or DDT. A detonation is an explosion where the flame front travels through the oxidizer-fuel mixture faster than the speed of sound, and this can be very destructive. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers a wealth of detailed information and guidance on this topic.
Fauske & Associates has decades of experience and industry leading expertise in deflagration safety consulting for chemical processing and nuclear safety applications. Our experts are active in NFPA and have access to cutting edge software tools and our world class testing laboratory to bring you a comprehensive solution to your deflagration safety needs.