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Flame Propagation Near the Limiting Conditions in a Thin Layer Geometry


A series of experiments on hydrogen flame propagation in a thin layer geometry is presented. Premixed hydrogen-air compositions in the range from 6 to 15%(vol.) H2 are tested. Semi-open vertical combustion chamber consists of two transparent Plexiglas side walls with main dimensions of 90x20 cm with a gap from 1 to 10 mm in between. Test mixtures are ignited at the open end of the chamber so that the flame propagates towards the closed end. Ignition position changes from top to bottom in order to take into account an effect of gravity on flame propagation regimes. High-speed shadow imaging is used to visualize and record the combustion process. Thermal-diffusion and Darrieus-Landau instabilities are governing the general flame behaviour. Heat losses to side walls and viscous friction in a thin layer may fully suppress the flame propagation with local or global extinction. The sensitivity to heat losses can be characterized using a Peclet number as a ratio of layer thickness to laminar flame thickness. Approaching to critical Peclet number Pec = 42 the planar or wrinkled flame surface degradants to one-or two-heads "finger" flame propagating straight (for two-heads flame) or chaotic (for one-head "finger" flame). Such a "fingering" of the flame is found for the first time for gaseous systems and very similar to that reported for smouldering or filtering combustion of solid materials and also under micro-gravity conditions. The distance between "fingers" may depend on deficit of limiting component. The processes investigated can be very important from academic and practical points of view with respect to safety of hydrogen fuel cells.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Germany ; Spain

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Flame propagation near the limiting conditions in a thin layer geometry

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