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Diffusion Flame Extinction in a Low Strain FlowDiffusion flames are of great interest in fire safety and many industrial processes. Many parameters significantly affect the flame structure, shape and stability, of particular importance are the constraints imposed by geometrical boundaries. Physical boundaries determine the characteristics of the flow, affect heat, fuel, and oxidizer transport from and towards the flame and can act as heat sinks or heat sources. As a result, the existence of a flame, its shape and nature are intimately related to the geometrical characteristics of the environment that surrounds it. The counter-flow configuration provides a constant strain flow, therefore, is ideal to study the structure of diffusion flames. Most studies have concentrated on the high velocity, high strain limit, since buoyantly induced instabilities will disintegrate the planar flame as the velocity decreases. Only recently, experimental studies in micro-gravity conditions have begun to explore the low strain regimes. The main objective of these on-going studies is to determine the effect of radiative heat losses and variable strain on the structure and radiation-induced extinction of diffusion flames. For these programs, size, geometry, and experimental conditions have been chosen to keep the flame unaffected by the physical boundaries. Whether is the burning of condensed or gaseous fuels, for most real situations the boundaries impose a significant effect on the nature of the flame. There is, therefore, a need to better understand the effect that geometrical constraints (i.e. flow nonperpendicular to a fuel surface, heat losses to the boundaries, etc.) might have on the final characteristics of a diffusion flame. Preliminary experiments have shown that, in the absence of gravity, and depending on the distance from the flame to the boundary, three characteristically different regimes can be observed. Close to the boundary, the flame is parabolic, very thin and blue, almost soot-less. Diffusion is the main mechanism controlling fuel transport to the reaction zone, conduction towards the inlets is the main source of heat losses. As the distance increases the flame becomes linear and thickens, remaining blue at the oxidizer side and turning yellow at the fuel side. Here, convection brings fuel and oxidizer together and the reaction occurs in the viscous layer formed between the fuel and oxidizer streams. This region corresponds to the characteristic counter-flow flame where conduction and convection become negligible forms of heat losses and radiation becomes dominant. The flame in the third (mixed) region, between the two others, results from the combination of the scenarios presented above.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sutula, Jason
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD United States)
Jones, Joshua
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD United States)
Torero, Jose L.
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD United States)
Borlik, Jeffrey
(Texas Univ. Austin, TX United States)
Ezekoye, Ofodike A.
(Texas Univ. Austin, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Fourth International Microgravity Combustion Workshop
Subject Category
Inorganic And Physical Chemistry
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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