Re: Surge on GE90

From: (John Liebson)
Organization: ISFSI
Date:         27 Jun 95 01:43:14 
References:   1 2 3
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  or MIME structure (Luc Bauwens) wrote:

>I wish people who want to argue semantics would stop and convince
>themselves that they know about what they are talking about before
>getting into the fray :-).

>"Explosion" means effectively anything.  It is a loose word that can
>be used to describe any combustion process that's reasonably fast.
>It certainly does not imply anything substantial in the way of shock
>waves etc.

>The word "detonation", however, refers specifically to a very
>fast combustion, in effect, a flame riding on a shock wave.  And
>to describe an explosion that's not quite that fast, there is the
>word "deflagration".

At the risk of arguing with someone who is an engineer, allow me to
comment that it depends at least somewhat on one's point of view. In
the fire service, for example, explosions may very well be considered
to be something that is accompanied by shock waves. The National Fire
Protection Association _Fire Protection Handbook_, at least the
somewhat older edition I have, even includes the possibility of shock
waves in its discussion of what the word "explosion" might define.
This manual points out that the very word "explosion" has taken on so
many meanings that people such as you, in the class of engineers,
cannot use it with "any appreciable degree of precision;" I, on the
other hand, as a retired volunteer fire chief and still-active fire
service instructor, "know" what an explosion is.