1998-10-19

Flame Front Speed of a Decane Cloud under Microgravity Conditions 982566

In this study, a piezo disk was used to generate a cloud of n-decane fuel drops, which were mixed with air, then carried into a combustion chamber and ignited by a platinum wire. Microgravity data obtained at the Japan Microgravity Center (JAMIC) were compared to normal gravity data, all at 1Atm pressure and 20+/-1°C initial temperature. Under normal gravity the lean limit was found to be 7.6x106/mm3 (Φ = 1.0), and from this point the flame front speed steadily increased from 20cm/s up to a maximum flame front speed of 210cm/s at a fuel drop density of about 14x106/mm3 (Φ = 1.85). Microgravity data showed a much richer lean limit - about 14.5x106/mm3 (Φ = 1.9), and the flame front speed did not gradually rise to a peak value. Instead, the measurements indicated a peak value of about 250cm/s, with a steep increase followed by a gradual decrease at richer fuel air ratios. A cellular flame structure appeared, and the cell size decreased as the mixture density increased. In general, the results indicated that gravity causes an increase in flame front speed and significantly higher lean ignition limit for a cloud of n-decane fuel drops.

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