BLEVE (Boiling-Liquid-Expanding-Vapor Explosion

A type of rapid phase transition in which a liquid contained above its atmospheric boiling point is rapidly depressurized, causing a nearly instantaneous transition from liquid to vapor with a corresponding energy release. A BLEVE of flammable material is often accompanied by a large aerosol fireball, since an external fire impinging on the vapor space of a pressure vessel is a common cause. However, it is not necessary for the liquid to be flammable to have a BLEVE occur.