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B Supercritical fluids

  1. Jul 7, 2016 #1
    Hi, looking for help understanding the concept of SCF's. I understand that SCF'S are indistinguishable in their gas and liquid phases, and that they show properties of both. My question is, whose properties would they show in the event of a vessel failure?

    For example, if you took a 100 l pressure vessel, and filled it with a gas to say, 100 atm (around 1500 psi) and the vessel (for whatever reason) failed, it would be a catastrophic explosion as a very dense cloud of gas would be expanding out at an explosive rate.

    At the same time, if you filled that vessel with 100 litres of water (or any liquid) and then pressurized it to 1500 psi, and the vessel failed, you would have a loud noise, the vessel would crack and water would shoot out, but it would not be a catastrophic explosion, since water basically does not compress. There would be no explosive expansion.

    So now let's say you've filled the vessel with water and then bring it up to its super critical point. At this point, the liquid is behaving like a liquid AND a gas inside the vessel. Now imagine the vessel ruptures, what happens? Do we get an explosion like with a gas? Or a loud thud like with a liquid?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2016 #2


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    Depends. How far from the critical point are you?
  4. Jul 7, 2016 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    Check out these videos:

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