Explosive decompression is a violent, unplanned drop in the pressure of a sealed system, such as an aircraft cabin, and typically results from human error, material fatigue, engineering failure, or impact, causing a pressure vessel to vent into its lower-pressure surroundings or fail to pressurize at all.
Effects and DescriptionEdit
Explosive decompression occurs at a rate swifter than that at which air can escape from the lungs, typically in less than 0.1 to 0.5 seconds. After an explosive decompression within an aircraft, a heavy fog may immediately fill the interior as the relative humidity of cabin air rapidly changes as the air cools and condenses. Military pilots with oxygen masks have to pressure-breathe, whereby the lungs fill with air when relaxed, and effort has to be exerted to expel the air again. The risk of lung trauma is very high, as is the danger from any unsecured objects that can become projectiles because of the explosive force, which may be likened to a bomb detonation.