NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Dimensional Effects on the Transition From Ignition to Flame Spread in Microgravity.

pdf icon Dimensional Effects on the Transition From Ignition to Flame Spread in Microgravity. (806 K)
Mell, W. E.; Kashiwagi, T.

Combustion Institute, Symposium (International) on Combustion, 27th. Proceedings. Volume 2. August 2-7, 1998, Boulder, CO, Combustion Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, 2635-2641 pp, 1998.


combustion; microgravity; flame spread; ignition


Three-dimensional (3-D) and two-dimensional (2-D) simulations of the transition from radiative ignition on a solid fuel to flame spread in a imposed wind were performed in microgravity. Two-dimensional flames were found to quench (due to poor oxygen supply) more easily (i.e., at larger wind speeds) than 3-D flames. Results from the 2- and 3-D simulations were compared during the transition phase at wind speeds that ultimately lead to quenching of the 2-D flame but survival of the 3-D flame. In all locations near and in the flame, oxygen mass flux was larger in the 3-D flames and dominated by diffusion (as opposed to convection). Oxygen was supplied to the core of the 3-D flame due to diffusion from the sides of the flame (in a cross-wind direction). Diffusion in the 2-D flame was limited to directions parallel to the wind. This cross-wind diffusion was most significant at early times during transition when the flame was small and had a relatively large curvature. The 3-D flame, therefore, required less oxygen supply from an external wind to undergo transition to flame spread. Once flame spread was established there was little difference between the 3-D flames (in the centerline plane) and 2-D flames, due to the decreased curvature of the three-dimensional flame relative to the curvature during ignition and transition.