Explosions and Safety

By Prof. Prasad Patnaik BSV, Prof. K. Ramamurthi   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 1514
The physical principles governing the various kinds of explosions are dealt with. Starting with simple modeling of blast waves derived from energy release in explosions, predictions for the damage caused by explosions and methods of ensuring safety are considered. The mechanisms of energy release in gaseous, liquid, dust and solid explosives are examined. Physical explosions and explosions of pressure vessels are also considered. The interaction of blast waves from explosions with objects is dealt with and the damages that occur are quantified.

Engineering students and practicing engineers
PREREQUISITES : Basic Mechanics and Thermodynamics
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT     : Industries handling Chemicals and Explosives, Army, Navy, Air Force, DRDO, ISRO, HAL, Space and Defense and Process-related Industries,
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Mechanical Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Chap 1: Introduction
Lec 1: Loud Bang and Disruption (1)
Lec 2: Blast Wave in an Explosion; Prediction from Dimensional Considerations (2)
Lec 3: Typical Examples of Explosions and Classification (3)
Week 2: Chap 2: Theory of Blast Waves
Lec 4: Shock Hugoniot and Rayleigh Line (4)
Lec 5: Properties behind Constant Velocity Shock (5)
Lec. 6. Blast waves; Concentration of Mass at Front, Snow Plow Approximation (6)
Week 3: Chap 3: Characteristics of Blast Waves
Lec 7: Decay of a Blast Wave, Sach’s Scaling (7)
Lec 8: Overpressure and Impulse in the near and Far Field (8)
Lec 9: Missiles, Fragments and Shrapnel, Craters (9)
Week 4:Chap 4: Interaction of Blast with Objects and Structures
Lec 10: Reflection and Transmission of Blast Waves, Impedance (10)
Lec 11: Amplification of Reflected Blast waves, Spall, Damage to Organs, Mushroom Cloud (11)
Lec 12: Damage from Blast waves, Iso-damage Curve (12)
Week 5: Chap 5: Energy Release in an Explosion
Lec 13: Energy Release in a Chemical Reaction, Standard Heats of Formation (13)
Lec 14: Stoichiometry, Equivalence Ratio and Heat Release in Fuel-rich and Oxidizer-rich Compounds (14)
Lec 15: Energy release calculations, Higher and Lower Calorific Values, Internal Energy of Formation (15)
Week 6:Chap 6: Rate of Energy Release
Lec 16: Concentration, Activation Energy, Energy Release Profile (16)
Lec 17: Thermal Theory of Explosions (17)
Lec 18: Application of Thermal Theory and Inferences (18)
Week 7: Chap 7: Modeling of Rate of Energy Release
Lec 19: Role of Chain carriers in an explosion (19)
Lec 20: Fire and Combustion (20)
Lec 21: Combustion and Explosions (21)
Week 8: Lec 22: Case Histories of explosions involving Volatile Liquids (22)
     Chap 8: Detonations
Lec. 23: Introduction to Detonations (23)
Lec 24: Structure of Detonation (24)
Week 9: Lec 25: Realizable States in a Detonation (25)
Lec 26: One Dimensional Model of a Detonation (26)
Lec 27: Case Histories of explosions Involving Detonation or Quasi-Detonation (27)
Week 10:Chap 9: Different Types of Explosions
Lec 28: Explosions in Confined and Unconfined Geometries (28)
Lec 29: Dust Explosion I (29)
Lec 30: Dust Explosion II (30)
Week 11: Lec 31: Physical Explosions (31)
Lec 32: Rupture of Cryogenic Storage Vessels and Pressure Vessels (32)
     Chap 10: Condensed Phase Explosions
Lec 33 Condensed Phase Explosives based on Hydrocarbons (33)
Week 12:Lec 34: Condensed Phase explosives and their Properties (34)
Lec 35: TNT Equivalence and Yield of an Explosion (35)
Lec 36: Quantification of damages in an Explosion (39 and 40)

Books and references

1. Baker, W.E., Explosions in Air, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1973
2. Ramamurthi, K. Explosions and Explosion Safety, McGraw Hill, New Delhi, 2011
3. Crowl, D. A. and Louvar, J.F., Chemical Process safety, Prentice Hall, NJ, 2002
4. Stull, D.R., Fundamentals of Fire and Explosion, AIChE Monograph Series, Vol. 73, No. 10, 1977
5. Kinney G. F. and Graham K. J., Explosive Shocks in Air, Springer, Berlin, 1985
6.Cooper P. W. and Kurowski S.R., Introduction to the Technology of Explosives, Wiley-VCH, New York, 1966

Instructor bio

Prof. Prasad Patnaik BSV

IIT Madras
Dr. Prasad Patnaik B.S.V is currently Professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics at IIT Madras. His research interests are in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) applied to Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI). He has worked on the development of CFD tools applied to FSI, Nuclear Thermal Systems, Bio-Fluid Mechanics etc.

Prof. K. Ramamurthi

K. Ramamurthi worked in ISRO and thereafter in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras. He is presently Chairman of the Combustion and Shock Wave Panel (CDSW) of ARMREB in DRDO and Chairman of Extramural Research in Combustion of SERB. His research interests are in detonation, blast waves, combustion instability and thermodynamics.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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