Can cold water cause a BLEVE?
We were discussing BLEVEs at the station yesterday, and the SOP for a potential BLEVE involves, among other things, trying to cool down a container that is a potential BLEVE before it Explodes.
I was thinking about this, and I know from my welding experience that if you have metal that is hot and under tension, and you quench it suddenly with cold water, you can fatigue the metal and/or make it very brittle, causing it to lose its tensile strength very rapidly.
I imagine this is less of an issue on a large potential BLEVE container, as the cold water wouldn't have enough 'chill' to cool it rapidly enough to matter, but on a small potential BLEVE (e.g. small LP tank that's been heated up by a fire), is there the potential that a shot of cold water from a hose could fatigue the metal and actually cause the BLEVE?
My suspicion is that the sage answer here is: maybe, but it's the lesser of the available evils...But should the SOP involve a more gradual application of water to the container, rather than a sudden direct blast of cold water?