Pattern Formation in Diffusion Flames Embedded in von Karman Swirling Flows
- Nayagam, Vedha
- April 2006.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- Pattern formation is observed in nature in many so-called excitable systems that can support wave propagation. It is well-known in the field of combustion that premixed flames can exhibit patterns through differential diffusion mechanism between heat and mass. However, in the case of diffusion flames where fuel and oxidizer are separated initially there have been only a few observations of pattern formation. It is generally perceived that since diffusion flames do not possess an inherent propagation speed they are static and do not form patterns. But in diffusion flames close to their extinction local quenching can occur and produce flame edges which can propagate along stoichiometric surfaces. Recently, we reported experimental observations of rotating spiral flame edges during near-limit combustion of a downward-facing polymethylmethacrylate disk spinning in quiescent air. These spiral flames, though short-lived, exhibited many similarities to patterns commonly found in quiescent excitable media including compound tip meandering motion. Flame disks that grow or shrink with time depending on the rotational speed and in-depth heat loss history of the fuel disk have also been reported. One of the limitations of studying flame patterns with solid fuels is that steady-state conditions cannot be achieved in air at normal atmospheric pressure for experimentally reasonable fuel thickness. As a means to reproduce the flame patterns observed earlier with solid fuels, but under steady-state conditions, we have designed and built a rotating, porous-disk burner through which gaseous fuels can be injected and burned as diffusion flames. The rotating porous disk generates a flow of air toward the disk by a viscous pumping action, generating what is called the von K rm n boundary layer which is of constant thickness over the entire burner disk. In this note we present a map of the various dynamic flame patterns observed during the combustion of methane in air as a function of fuel flow rate and the burner rotational speed.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20060012151., NASA/CR-2006-214057., and E-15414.
- No Copyright.
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