It is common practice to proof test high pressure vessels prior to their use in the field. One technique for leak testing these vessels is submersion in water. A test failure at high pneumatic pressure and can pose several hazards to nearby personnel, such as projectile launch and blast loads. Submerged underwater testing can provide some level of protection from these hazards. However, it is largely unknown how much water cover is needed to prevent a projectile from escaping.
The purpose of this test program was to record the mitigating effects of water on hazards caused by a sudden pressure vessel failure. The test program entails submerging a pressure vessel underwater inside a tank. The vessel is then pressurized to failure, releasing a blast wave and launching a projectile. The event is recorded using high speed photography which is used to observe the effects of the gas release and the projectile motion. A discussion of the test events and associated physics is provided.