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experimental observations on a low strain counter-flow diffusion flame: flow and bouyancy effectsDiffusion flames are of great interest in fire safety and many industrial processes. The counter-flow configuration provides a constant strain flow, and 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 microgravity conditions have begun to explore the low strain regimes. Numerical work has shown the coupling between gas phase reaction rates, soot reaction rates, and radiation. For these programs, size, geometry and experimental conditions have been chosen to keep the flame unaffected by the physical boundaries. When the physical boundaries can not be considered infinitely far from the reaction zone discrepancies arise. A computational study that includes boundary effects and accounts for the deviations occurring when the major potential flow assumptions are relaxed was presented by Borlik et al. This development properly incorporates all heat loss terms and shows the possibility of extinction in the low strain regime. A major constraint of studying the low strain regime is buoyancy. Buoyant instabilities have been shown to have a significant effect on the nature of reactants and heat transport, and can introduce instabilities on the flow that result in phenomena such as flickering or fingering. The counter-flow configuration has been shown to provide a flame with no symmetry disrupting instabilities for inlet velocities greater than 50 mm/s. As the velocity approaches this limit, the characteristic length of the experiment has to be reduced to a few millimetres so as to keep the Rayleigh number (Ra(sub L) = (Beta)(g(sub 0))(L(exp 3) del T)/(alpha(v))) below 2000. In this work, a rectangular counter-flow burner was used to study a two-dimensional counter-flow diffusion flame. Flow visualisation and Particle Image Velocimetry served to describe the nature of the stagnation plane for strain rates smaller than 100 (1/s). These experiments were conducted with a non-reacting flow. Video images of a propane air diffusion flame were used to describe the behaviour of a diffusion flame in this regime. Flame geometry and pulsation frequency are described.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sutula, J. A.
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD United States)
Torero, J. L.
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD United States)
Ezekoye, O. A.
(Texas Univ. Austin, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: Fifth International Microgravity Combustion Workshop
Subject Category
Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19990053965Analytic PrimaryFifth International Microgravity Combustion Workshop
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