The catastrophic failure of a tank containing a pressure liquefied gas often gives rise to a physical explosion with serious consequences for the possibly exposed people and structures. In fact, the liquid is at a temperature higher than its boiling temperature at atmospheric pressure, and, once released, it will instantaneously vaporize, with the generation of a shock wave.
If the involved chemical is also hazardous (flammable or toxic), additional consequences are also expected (fires or toxic cloud dispersion), so that it is important to prevent the occurrence of this phenomenon as far as possible.
Few studies are available in the literature to analyze the dynamics of this scenario, and, given the complexity of setting up experimental facilities, mainly theoretical approaches have been adopted, though some useful experimental results are also reported. The models proposed over the years allow to calculating the trend of the main parameters involved in the accident, but, in most cases, reference to a bare vessel has been made, while less attention has been devoted to assess the influence of protection systems, such as thermal insulation or pressure relief devices.
In the present paper, a number of reference scenarios have been simulated involving both unprotected and protected systems, and the results have been analyzed and compared, to identify a proper strategy capable of significantly reducing the probability of failure of the tank.