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Combustor flame flashbackA stainless steel, two-dimensional (rectangular), center-dump, premixed-prevaporized combustor with quartz window sidewalls for visual access was designed, built, and used to study flashback. A parametric study revealed that the flashback equivalence ratio decreased slightly as the inlet air temperature increased. It also indicated that the average premixer velocity and premixer wall temperature were not governing parameters of flashback. The steady-state velocity balance concept as the flashback mechanism was not supported. From visual observation several stages of burning were identified. High speed photography verified upstream flame propagation with the leading edge of the flame front near the premixer wall. Combustion instabilities (spontaneous pressure oscillations) were discovered during combustion at the dump plane and during flashback. The pressure oscillation frequency ranged from 40 to 80 Hz. The peak-to-peak amplitude (up to 1.4 psi) increased as the fuel/air equivalence ratio was increased attaining a maximum value just before flashback. The amplitude suddenly decreased when the flame stabilized in the premixer. The pressure oscillations were large enough to cause a local flow reversal. A simple test using ceramic fiber tufts indicated flow reversals existed at the premixer exit during flickering. It is suspected that flashback occurs through the premixer wall boundary layer flow reversal caused by combustion instability. A theoretical analysis of periodic flow in the premixing channel has been made. The theory supports the flow reversal mechanism.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Proctor, M. P.
(Case Western Reserve Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Tien, J. S.
(Case Western Reserve Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1985
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:174961
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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