Microgravity Turbulent Gas-Jet Diffusion Flames
- March 1996.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- A gas-jet diffusion flame is similar to the flame on a Bunsen burner, where a gaseous fuel (e.g., propane) flows from a nozzle into an oxygen-containing atmosphere (e.g., air). The difference is that a Bunsen burner allows for (partial) premixing of the fuel and the air, whereas a diffusion flame is not premixed and gets its oxygen (principally) by diffusion from the atmosphere around the flame. Simple gas-jet diffusion flames are often used for combustion studies because they embody the mechanisms operating in accidental fires and in practical combustion systems. However, most practical combustion is turbulent (i.e., with random flow vortices), which enhances the fuel/air mixing. These turbulent flames are not well understood because their random and transient nature complicates analysis. Normal gravity studies of turbulence in gas-jet diffusion flames can be impeded by buoyancy-induced instabilities. These gravitycaused instabilities, which are evident in the flickering of a candle flame in normal gravity, interfere with the study of turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames. By conducting experiments in microgravity, where buoyant instabilities are avoided, we at the NASA Lewis Research Center hope to improve our understanding of turbulent combustion. Ultimately, this could lead to improvements in combustor design, yielding higher efficiency and lower pollutant emissions. Gas-jet diffusion flames are often researched as model flames, because they embody mechanisms operating in both accidental fires and practical combustion systems (see the first figure). In normal gravity laboratory research, buoyant air flows, which are often negligible in practical situations, dominate the heat and mass transfer processes. Microgravity research studies, however, are not constrained by buoyant air flows, and new, unique information on the behavior of gas-jet diffusion flames has been obtained.
- Document ID: 20050172094.
Research and Technology 1995; NASA-TM-107111.
- No Copyright.
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