The objective of the current work is to model a stainless steel SA 316L autoclave explosion and rupture that occurred during a research laboratory experiment designed to study the thermal decomposition of ammonium tetrathiomolybdate in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DSMO) in an autoclave. The explosion was believed to have occurred because DMSO was used in excess in the experiment and heated beyond its decomposition temperature. The aim of the current study is to investigate the effect of internal blast load on a pressure vessel made of stainless steel AISI 316L through finite element analysis. Numerical simulation using FEA is performed to better understand the cause of failure of the pressure vessel. The finite element model predicts very well the structural response and subsequent failure of the actual incident and the results reveal that the root cause to failure was an internal blast load, which arose from the decomposition of DMSO at high temperature.

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