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Deflagration-to-detonation Transition in Highly Reactive Combustible Mixtures


High resolution numerical simulations used to study the mechanism of deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT). The computations solved two-dimensional, time-dependent, reactive Navier-Stokes equations including the effects of compressibility, molecular diffusion, thermal conduction, viscosity and detailed chemical kinetics for the reactive species with subsequent chain branching, production of radicals and energy release. It is shown that from the beginning the flame accelerates exponentially producing shock waves far ahead. On the next stage the flame acceleration decreases and the shocks are formed close ahead of the flame front. The final stage is the actual transition to detonation. During the second stage a compressed unreacted mixture of increased density enters the flame producing a high pressure pulse which enhances reaction rate and the heat release in the reaction zone with a positive feedback coupling between the pressure pulse and the reaction rate. As a result the peak of the pressure pulse grows exponentially, steepens into a strong shock which is coupled with the reaction zone forming the overdriven detonation. This new mechanism of DDT is different from the Zel’dovich’s gradient mechanism. The temperature gradients, which appear in the form of hot spots and the like, are not suitable to initiate detonation.

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