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Sample records for microgravity flame spread

  1. Triple flames in microgravity flame spread

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wichman, Indrek S.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to examine in detail the influence of the triple flame structure on the flame spread problem. It is with an eye to the practical implications that this fundamental research project must be carried out. The microgravity configuration is preferable because buoyancy-induced stratification and vorticity generation are suppressed. A more convincing case can be made for comparing our predictions, which are zero-g, and any projected experiments. Our research into the basic aspects will employ two models. In one, flows of fuel and oxidizer from the lower wall are not considered. In the other, a convective flow is allowed. The non-flow model allows us to develop combined analytical and numerical solution methods that may be used in the more complicated convective-flow model.

  2. Unsteady flame spread over solid fuels in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullard, D. B.; Tang, L.; Altenkirch, R. A.; Bhattacharjee, S.

    1993-07-01

    For flame spreading over solid fuels at microgravity in a quiescent environment, experimental, and computational, results show that the spread rate following ignition is steady because the leading edge of the flame itself establishes the flow field into which it spreads. Spreading into an opposing forced flow is inherently unsteady because of the changing character of the boundary-layer flow with location. The development of an unsteady flame spread model is presented and applied to thermally thick polymethylmethacrylate. The unsteady model is constructed such that interfacial phenomena, e.g., fuel surface reradiation, are accounted for as volumetric source terms in differential, conservation equations, so that the solid and gas fields may be treated simultaneously without iteration between phases. Care must be taken such that communication between the solid and gas at the interface is computed accurately. For forced flows with velocity much larger than the spread rate, radiative processes are unimportant, but for the lower flow rates, comparable to the spread rate, the opposite is true. Solutions for a quiescent environment are difficult to obtain. Conduction scales become large, and conduction heat transfer from the flame to the solid is reduced. Because of this, quiescent environment solutions could not be obtained without at least an approximate treatment of gas-phase, flame radiation.

  3. Ignition, Transition, Flame Spread in Multidimensional Configurations in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kashiwagi, Takashi; Mell, William E.; McGrattan, Kevin B.; Baum, Howard R.; Olson, Sandra L.; Fujita, Osamu; Kikuchi, Masao; Ito, Kenichi

    1997-01-01

    Ignition of solid fuels by external thermal radiation and subsequent transition to flame spread are processes that not only are of considerable scientific interest but which also have fire safety applications. A material which undergoes a momentary ignition might be tolerable but a material which permits a transition to subsequent flame spread would significantly increase the fire hazard in a spacecraft. Therefore, the limiting condition under which flame cannot spread should be calculated from a model of the transition from ignition instead of by the traditional approach based on limits to a steady flame spread model. However, although the fundamental processes involved in ignition have been suggested there have been no definitive experimental or modeling studies due to the flow motion generated by buoyancy near the heated sample surface. In this study, microgravity experiments which required longer test times such as in air and surface smoldering experiment were conducted in the space shuttle STS-75 flight; shorter experimental tests such as in 35% and 50% oxygen were conducted in the droptower in the Japan Microgravity Center, JAMIC. Their experimental data along with theoretically calculated results from solving numerically the time-dependent Navier-Stokes equations are summarized in this paper.

  4. Effect of Wind Velocity on Flame Spread in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Kuldeep; Olson, Sandra L.; Nakamura, Yuji; Fujita, Osamu; Nishizawa, Katsuhiro; Ito, Kenichi; Kashiwagi, Takashi; Simons, Stephen N. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A three-dimensional, time-dependent model is developed describing ignition and subsequent transition to flame spread over a thermally thin cellulosic sheet heated by external radiation in a microgravity environment. A low Mach number approximation to the Navier Stokes equations with global reaction rate equations describing combustion in the gas phase and the condensed phase is numerically solved. The effects of a slow external wind (1-20 cm/s) on flame transition are studied in an atmosphere of 35% oxygen concentration. The ignition is initiated at the center part of the sample by generating a line-shape flame along the width of the sample. The calculated results are compared with data obtained in the 10s drop tower. Numerical results exhibit flame quenching at a wind speed of 1.0 cm/s, two localized flames propagating upstream along the sample edges at 1.5 cm/s, a single line-shape flame front at 5.0 cm/s, three flames structure observed at 10.0 cm/s (consisting of a single line-shape flame propagating upstream and two localized flames propagating downstream along sample edges) and followed by two line-shape flames (one propagating upstream and another propagating downstream) at 20.0 cm/s. These observations qualitatively compare with experimental data. Three-dimensional visualization of the observed flame complex, fuel concentration contours, oxygen and reaction rate isosurfaces, convective and diffusive mass flux are used to obtain a detailed understanding of the controlling mechanism, Physical arguments based on lateral diffusive flux of oxygen, fuel depletion, oxygen shadow of the flame and heat release rate are constructed to explain the various observed flame shapes.

  5. The Effect of Microgravity on Flame Spread over a Thin Fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Sandra L.

    1987-01-01

    A flame spreading over a thermally thin cellulose fuel was studied in a quiescent microgravity environment. Flame spread over two different fuel thicknesses was studied in ambient oxygen-nitrogen environments from the limiting oxygen concentration to 100 percent oxygen at 1 atm pressure. Comparative normal-gravity tests were also conducted. Gravity was found to play an important role in the mechanism of flame spread. In lower oxygen environments, the buoyant flow induced in normal gravity was found to accelerate the flame spread rate as compared to the microgravity flame spread rates. It was also found to stabilize the flame in oxidizer environments, where microgravity flames in a quiescent environment extinguish. In oxygen-rich environments, however, it was determined that gravity does not play an important role in the flame spread mechanism. Fuel thickness influences the flame spread rate in both normal gravity and microgravity. The flame spread rate varies inversely with fuel thickness in both normal gravity and in an oxygen-rich microgravity environment. In lower oxygen microgravity environments, however, the inverse relationship breaks down because finite-rate kinetics and heat losses become important. Two different extinction limits were found in microgravity for the two thicknesses of fuel. This is in contrast to the normal-gravity extinction limit, which was found to be independent of fuel thickness. In microgravity the flame is quenched because of excessive thermal losses, whereas in normal gravity the flame is extinguished by blowoff.

  6. Microgravity flame spread over thick solids in low velocity opposed flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shuangfeng; Zhu, Feng

    2016-07-01

    Motivated primarily by fire safety of spacecraft, a renewed interest in microgravity flame spread over solid materials has arisen. With few exceptions, however, research on microgravity flame spread has been focused on thermally thin fuels due to the constraint on available test time. In this study, two sets of experiments are conducted to examine the flame spread and extinction behavior over thick PMMA in simulated and actual microgravity environments. The low-gravity flame spread environment is produced by a narrow channel apparatus in normal gravity. Extinction limits using flow velocity and oxygen concentration as coordinates are presented, and flame spread rates are determined as a function of the velocity and oxygen concentration of the gas flow. The microgravity experiments are also performed with varying low-velocity flow and varying ambient oxygen concentration. The important observations include flame behavior and appearance as a function of oxygen concentration and flow velocity, temperature variation in gas and solid phases, and flame spread rate. A comparison between simulated and actual microgravity data is made, and general agreement is found. Based on the experimental observations, mechanisms for flame spread and extinction in low velocity opposed flows are discussed.

  7. Solid surface combustion experiment flame spread in a quiescent, microgravity environment implications of spread rate and flame structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bundy, Matthew; West, Jeff; Thomas, Peter C.; Bhattacharjee, Subrata; Tang, Lin; Altenkirch, Robert A.; Sacksteder, Kurt

    1995-01-01

    A unique environment in which flame spreading, a phenomenon of fundamental, scientific interest, has importance to fire safety is that of spacecraft in which the gravitational acceleration is low compared with that of the Earth, i.e., microgravity. Experiments aboard eight Space Shuttle missions between October 1990 and February 1995 were conducted using the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) payload apparatus in an effort to determine the mechanisms of gas-phase flame spread over solid fuel surfaces in the absence of any buoyancy induced or externally imposed oxidizer flow. The overall SSCE effort began in December of 1984. The SSCE apparatus consists of a sealed container, approximately 0.039 cu m, that is filled with a specified O2/N2 mixture at a prescribed pressure. Five of the experiments used a thin cellulosic fuel, ashless filter paper, 3 cm wide x 10 cm long, 0.00825 cm half-thickness, ignited in five different ambient conditions. Three of the experiments, the most recent, used thick polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) samples 0.635 cm wide x 2 cm long, 0.32 cm half-thickness. Three experiments, STS 41, 40 and 43, were designed to evaluate the effect of ambient pressure on flame spread over the thin cellulosic fuel while flights STS 50 and 47 were at the same pressure as two of the earlier flights but at a lower oxygen concentration in order to evaluate the effect of ambient oxygen level on the flame spread process at microgravity. For the PMMA flights, two experiments, STS 54 and 63, were at the same pressure but different oxygen concentrations while STS 64 was at the same oxygen concentration as STS 63 but at a higher pressure. Two orthogonal views of the experiments were recorded on 16 mm cine-cameras operating at 24 frames/s. In addition to filmed images of the side view of the flames and surface view of the burning samples, solid- and gas-phase temperatures were recorded using thermocouples. The experiment is battery powered and follows an automated

  8. An Investigation of Flame Spread over Shallow Liquid Pools in Microgravity and Nonair Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Howard D.; Sotos, Raymond G.

    1989-01-01

    Experiments of interest to combustion fundamentals and spacecraft fire safety investigated flame spread of alcohol fuels over shallow, 15 cm diameter pools in a 5.2 sec free-fall, microgravity facility. Results showed that, independent O2 concentration, alcohol fuel, and diluent types, microgravity flame spread rates were nearly identical to those corresponding normal-gravity flames for conditions where the normal gravity flames spread uniformly. This similarity indicated buoyancy-related convection in either phase does not affect flame spread, at least for the physical scale of the experiments. However, microgravity extinction coincided with the onset conditions for pulsating spread in normal gravity, implicating gas phase, buoyant flow as a requirement for pulsating spread. When the atmospheric nitrogen was replaced with argon, the conditions for the onset of normal-gravity pulsating flame spread and microgravity flame extinction were changed, in agreement with the expected lowering of the flash point through the thermal properties of the diluent. Helium-diluted flames, however, showed unexpected results with a shift to apparently higher flash-point temperatures and high normal gravity pulsation amplitudes.

  9. Flame Spread Along Free Edges of Thermally Thin Samples in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mell, W E; Olson, S L; Kashiwagi, T

    2000-01-01

    The effects of imposed flow velocity on flame spread along open edges of a thermally thin cellulosic sample in microgravity were studied experimentally and theoretically. In this study, the sample was ignited locally at the middle of the 4 cm wide sample, and subsequent flame spread reached both open edges of the sample along the direction of the flow. The following flame behaviors were observed in the experiments and predicted by the numerical calculation, in order of increased imposed flow velocity: (1) ignition but subsequent flame spread was not attained, (2) flame spread upstream (opposed mode) without any downstream flame, and (3) the upstream flame and two separate downstream flames traveled along the two open edges (concurrent mode). Generally, the upstream and downstream edge flame spread rates were faster than the central flame spread rate for an imposed flow velocity of up to 5 cm/s. This was due to greater oxygen supply from the outer free stream to the edge flames and more efficient heat transfer from the edge flames to the sample surface than the central flames. For the upstream edge flame, flame spread rate was nearly independent of, or decreased gradually with, the imposed flow velocity. The spread rate of the downstream edge, however, increased significantly with the imposed flow velocity.

  10. Microgravity Flame Spread in Exploration Atmospheres: Pressure, Oxygen, and Velocity Effects on Opposed and Concurrent Flame Spread

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Sandra L.; Ruff, Gary A.; Fletcher, J. Miller

    2008-01-01

    Microgravity tests of flammability and flame spread were performed in a low-speed flow tunnel to simulate spacecraft ventilation flows. Three thin fuels were tested for flammability (Ultem 1000 (General Electric Company), 10 mil film, Nomex (Dupont) HT90-40, and Mylar G (Dupont) and one fuel for flame spread testing (Kimwipes (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.). The 1g Upward Limiting Oxygen Index (ULOI) and 1g Maximum Oxygen Concentration (MOC) are found to be greater than those in 0g, by up to 4% oxygen mole fraction, meaning that the fuels burned in 0g at lower oxygen concentrations than they did using the NASA Standard 6001 Test 1 protocol. Flame spread tests with Kimwipes were used to develop correlations that capture the effects of flow velocity, oxygen concentration, and pressure on flame spread rate. These correlations were used to determine that over virtually the entire range of spacecraft atmospheres and flow conditions, the opposed spread is faster, especially for normoxic atmospheres. The correlations were also compared with 1g MOC for various materials as a function of pressure and oxygen. The lines of constant opposed flow agreed best with the 1g MOC trends, which indicates that Test 1 limits are essentially dictated by the critical heat flux for ignition. Further evaluation of these and other materials is continuing to better understand the 0g flammability of materials and its effect on the oxygen margin of safety.

  11. Transition from ignition to flame spread over thick fuels in a simulated microgravity environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shuangfeng; Lu, Zhanbin

    Ignition of solid fuels and subsequent transition to flame spread is of fundamental interest and practical importance for spacecraft fire safety. Most previous reseach on microgravity flame spread has involved purely opposed or purely concurrent flow, i.e. ignition occurs at one end of the fuel sample. In this study, a narrow channel apparatus is employed to investigate the phenomenon of flame spread over a thermally thick PMMA sheet in narrow gaps that essentially suppress buoyancy and produce a low-gravity flame spread environment. The ignition is initiated in the middle of the sample, and the focus is to determine the effects of atmosphere oxygen concentration and flow velocity on flame spread behavior in microgravity. Experimental results show that a single flame propagates upstream when oxygen concentration and flow velocity are relatively low. As oxygen and flow velocity are increased to levels high enough, however, the flame may propagate upstream and also downstream. Based on oxygen side diffusion, oxygen shadowing, and fuel depletion effect, the various observed flame behaviors are explained.

  12. Ignition, Transition, Flame Spread in Multidimensional Configurations in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kashiwagi, Takashi; Mell, William E.; Baum, Howard R.; Olson, Sandra

    1999-01-01

    In the inhabited quarters of orbiting spacecraft, fire is a greatly feared hazard. Thus, the fire safety strategy in a spacecraft is (1) to keep any fire as small as possible, (2) to detect any fire as early as possible, and (3) to extinguish any fire as quickly as possible. This suggests that a material which undergoes a momentary ignition might be tolerable but a material which permits a transition from a localized ignition to flame spread would significantly increase the fire hazard in a spacecraft. If the transition does not take place, fire growth does not occur. Therefore, it is critical to understand what process controls the transition. Many previous works have studied ignition and flame spread separately or were limited to a two-dimensional configuration. In this study, time-dependent phenomena of the transition over a thermally thin sample is studied experimentally and theoretically in two- and three-dimensional (2D,3D) configurations. Furthermore, localized ignition can be initiated at the center portion of thermally thin paper sample instead of at one end of the sample. Thus, the transition to flame spread could occur either toward upstream or downstream or both directions simultaneously with an external flow. In this presentation, the difference in the transition between the 3D and 2D configurations is explained with the numerically calculated data. For sufficiently narrow samples edge effects exist. Some results on this issue are presented. New analysis of the surface smoldering experiments conducted in the space shuttle STS-75 flight is also described.

  13. Opposed flow flame spread over an array of thin solid fuel sheets in a microgravity environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, Vinayak; Kumar, Chenthil; Kumar, Amit

    2013-10-01

    In this work a numerical study has been carried out to gain physical insight into the phenomena of opposed flow flame spread over an array of thin solid fuel sheets in a microgravity environment. The two-dimensional (2D) simulations show that the flame spread rates for the multiple-fuel configuration are higher than those for the flame spreading over a single fuel sheet. This is due to reduced radiation losses from the flame and increased heat feedback to the solid fuel. The flame spread rate exhibits a non-monotonic variation with decrease in the interspace distance between the fuel sheets. Higher radiation heat feedback primarily as gas/flame radiation was found to be responsible for the increase in the flame spread rate with the reduction of the interspace distance. It was noted that as the interspace distance between the fuel sheets was reduced below a certain value, no steady solution could be obtained. However, at very small interspace distances, steady state spread rates were obtained. Here, due to oxygen starvation the flame spread rate decreased and eventually at some interspace distance the flame extinguished. With fuel emittance (equal to absorptance) reduced to '0' the flame spread rate was nearly independent of the interspace distance, except at very small distances where the flame spread rate dropped due to oxygen starvation. A flame extinction plot with the extinction oxygen level was constructed for the multiple-fuel configuration at various interspace distances. The default fuel with an emittance of 0.92 was found to be more flammable in the multiple-fuel configuration than in a single fuel sheet configuration. For a fuel emittance equal to zero, the extinction oxygen limit decreases for both the single and the multiple fuel sheet configurations. However, the two flammability curves cross over at a certain fuel separation distance. The multiple-fuel configurations become less flammable compared to the single fuel sheet configuration below a certain

  14. Effect Of Low External Flow On Flame Spreading Over ETFE Insulated Wire Under Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishizawa, Katsuhiro; Fujita, Osamu; Ito, Kenichi; Kikuchi, Masao; Olson, Sandra L.; Kashiwagi, Takashi

    2003-01-01

    Fire safety is one of the most important issues for manned space missions. A likely cause of fires in spacecraft is wire insulation combustion in electrical system. Regarding the wire insulation combustion it important to know the effect of low external flow on the combustion because of the presence of ventilation flow in spacecraft. Although, there are many researches on flame spreading over solid material at low external flows under microgravity, research dealing with wire insulation is very limited. An example of wire insulation combustion in microgravity is the Space Shuttle experiments carried out by Greenberg et al. However, the number of experiments was very limited. Therefore, the effect of low flow velocity is still not clear. The authors have reported results on flame spreading over ETFE (ethylene - tetrafluoroetylene) insulated wire in a quiescent atmosphere in microgravity by 10 seconds drop tower. The authors also performed experiments of polyethylene insulated nichrom wire combustion in low flow velocity under microgravity. The results suggested that flame spread rate had maximum value in low flow velocity condition. Another interesting issue is the effect of dilution gas, especially CO2, which is used for fire extinguisher in ISS. There are some researches working on dilution gas effect on flame spreading over solid material in quiescent atmosphere in microgravity. However the research with low external flow is limited and, of course, the research discussing a relation of the appearance of maximum wire flammability in low flow velocity region with different dilution gas cannot be found yet. The present paper, therefore, investigates the effect of opposed flow with different dilution gas on flame spreading over ETFE insulated wire and change in the presence of the maximum flammability depending on the dilution gas type is discussed within the limit of microgravity time given by ground-based facility.

  15. A Characterization Of Alcohol Fuel Vapor For Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy Applied To Microgravity Flame Spread

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kulis, Michael J.; Perry, David S.; Miller, Fletcher; Piltch, Nancy

    2003-01-01

    A diode laser diagnostic is being developed for use in an ongoing investigation of flame spread in microgravity at NASA Glenn Research Center. Flame spread rates through non-homogenous gas mixtures are significantly different in a microgravity environment because of buoyancy and possibly hydrostatic pressure effects. These effects contribute to the fuel vapor concentration ahead of the flame being altered so that flame spread is more rapid in microgravity. This paper describes spectral transmission measurements made through mixtures of alcohol, water vapor, and nitrogen in a gas cell that was designed and built to allow measurements at temperatures up to 500 C. The alcohols considered are methanol, ethanol, and n-propanol. The basic technique of wavelength modulation spectroscopy for gas species measurements in microgravity was developed by Silver et al. For this technique to be applicable, one must carefully choose the spectral features over which the diode laser is modulated to provide good sensitivity and minimize interference from other molecular lines such as those in water. Because the methanol spectrum was not known with sufficient resolution in the wavelength region of interest, our first task was to perform high-resolution transmission measurements with an FTIR spectrometer for methanol vapor in nitrogen, followed recently by ethanol and n-propanol. A computer program was written to generate synthesized data to mimic that expected from the experiment using the laser diode, and results from that simulation are also presented.

  16. Radiation-Driven Flame Spread Over Thermally-Thick Fuels in Quiescent Microgravity Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Honda, Linton K.; Son, Youngjin; Ronney, Paul D.; Olson, Sandra (Technical Monitor); Gokoglu, Suleyman (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Microgravity experiments on flame spread over thermally thick fuels were conducted using foam fuels to obtain low density and thermal conductivity, and thus large spread rate (Sf) compared to dense fuels such as PMMA. This scheme enabled meaningful results to lie obtained even in 2.2 second drop tower experiments. It was found that, in contrast conventional understanding; steady spread can occur over thick fuels in quiescent microgravity environments, especially when a radiatively active diluent gas such as CO2 is employed. This is proposed to be due to radiative transfer from the flame to the fuel surface. Additionally, the transition from thermally thick to thermally thin behavior with decreasing bed thickness is demonstrated.

  17. Computation of radiative fields in opposed-flow flame spread in a microgravity environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villaraza, Jeanie Ray P.

    The purpose of this thesis is to perform radiation computations in opposed-flow flame spread in a microgravity environment. In this work, the flame spread simulations consider a thermally thin, PMMA fuel in a quiescent, microgravity environment or facing low opposed-flow velocities at ambient conditions of 1 atm and 50-50 volumetric mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. The flame spread model, which is a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model, is used for numerical simulations in combination with a radiation model. The CFD code is written in FORTRAN language, and a Matlab code is developed for plotting results. The temperature and species fields from CFD computations are used as inputs into the radiation model. Radiative quantities are calculated by using a global balance method along with the total transmittance non-homogeneous model. Radiation effect on thermocouple temperature measurement is investigated. Although this topic is well known, performing radiation correction calculations usually considers surface radiation only and not gas radiation. The inclusion of gas radiation is utilized in predicting the gas temperature that a thermocouple would measure. A narrow bed radiation model is used to determine the average incident radiative flux at a specified location from which a thermocouple temperature measurement is predicted. This study focuses on the quiescent microgravity environment only. The effect of parameters such as thermocouple surface emissivity and bead diameter are also studied. For the main part of this thesis, the effect of gas radiation on the mechanism of flame spread over a thermally thin, solid fuel in microgravity is investigated computationally. Generated radiative fields including thermal and species fields are utilized to investigate the nature of the influence of gas radiation on flame structure as well as its role in the mechanism of opposed-flow flame spread. The opposed-flow configuration considers low flow velocities including a quiescent

  18. Retrieval of Temperature and Species Distributions from Multispectral Image Data of Surface Flame Spread in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Annen, K. D.; Conant, John A.; Weiland, Karen J.

    2001-01-01

    Weight, size, and power constraints severely limit the ability of researchers to fully characterize temperature and species distributions in microgravity combustion experiments. A powerful diagnostic technique, infrared imaging spectrometry, has the potential to address the need for temperature and species distribution measurements in microgravity experiments. An infrared spectrum imaged along a line-of-sight contains information on the temperature and species distribution in the imaged path. With multiple lines-of-sight and approximate knowledge of the geometry of the combustion flowfield, a three-dimensional distribution of temperature and species can be obtained from one hyperspectral image of a flame. While infrared imaging spectrometers exist for collecting hyperspectral imagery, the remaining challenge is retrieving the temperature and species information from this data. An initial version of an infrared analysis software package, called CAMEO (Combustion Analysis Model et Optimizer), has been developed for retrieving temperature and species distributions from hyperspectral imaging data of combustion flowfields. CAMEO has been applied to the analysis of multispectral imaging data of flame spread over a PMMA surface in microgravity that was acquired in the DARTFire program. In the next section of this paper, a description of CAMEO and its operation is presented, followed by the results of the analysis of microgravity flame spread data.

  19. Ignition and subsequent transition to flame spread in a microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kashiwagi, Takashi; Mcgrattan, Kevin; Baum, Howard

    1995-01-01

    The fire safety strategy in a spacecraft is (1) to detect any fire as early as possible, (2) to keep any fire as small as possible, and (3) to extinguish any fire as quickly as possible. This suggests that a material which undergoes a momentary, localized ignition might be tolerable but a material which permits a transition to flame spread would significantly increase the fire hazard. Therefore, it is important to understand how the transition from localized ignition to flame spread occurs and what parameters significantly affect the transition. The fundamental processes involved in ignition and flame spread have been extensively studied, but they have been studied separately. Some of the steady state flame models start from ignition to reach a steady state, but since the objective of such a calculation is to obtain the steady state flame spread rate, the calculation through the transition process is made without high accuracy to save computational time. We have studied the transition from a small localized ignition at the center of a thermally thin paper in a microgravity environment. The configuration for that study was axisymmetric, but more general versions of the numerical scheme have been developed by including the effects of a slow, external flow in both two and three dimensions. By exploiting the non-buoyant nature of the flow, it is possible to achieve resolution of fractions of millimeters for 3D flow domains on the order of 10 centimeters. Because the calculations are time dependent, we can study the evolution of multiple flame fronts originating from a localized ignition source. The interaction of these fronts determines whether or not they will eventually achieve steady state spread. Most flame spread studies in microgravity consider two-dimensional flame spread initiated by ignition at one end of a sample strip with or against a slow external flow. In this configuration there is only one flame front. A more realistic scenario involves separate

  20. Extinction Criteria for Opposed-Flow Flame Spread in a Microgravity Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharjee, Subrata; Paolini, Chris; Wakai, Kazunori; Takahashi, Shuhei

    2003-01-01

    A simplified analysis is presented to extend a previous work on flame extinction in a quiescent microgravity environment to a more likely situation of a mild opposing flow. The energy balance equation, that includes surface re-radiation, is solved to yield a closed form spread rate expression in terms of its thermal limit, and a radiation number that can be evaluated from the known parameters of the problem. Based on this spread rate expression, extinction criterions for a flame over solid fuels, both thin and thick, have been developed that are qualitatively verified with experiments conducted at the MGLAB in Japan. Flammability maps with oxygen level, opposing flow velocity and fuel thickness as independent variables are extracted from the theory that explains the well-established trends in the existing experimental data.

  1. Transport and Chemical Effects on Concurrent and Opposed-Flow Flame Spread at Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Honda, L. K.; Ronney, P. D.

    1999-01-01

    With support from a previous NASA grant, NAG3-161 1, the PI studied the effects of diluent type, the addition of sub-flammability-limit concentrations of combustible gases, and the effects of concurrent buoyant flow on flame spread processes. The results of these studies are reported and directions for the current grant outlined. Most experiments were conducted in a 20 liter combustion chamber. Exactly the same apparatus was used for 1 g and microgravity tests. The effect of inert gases He, Ar, N2, CO2 and SF6 on flame spread were tested since they provide a variety of radiative properties and oxygen Lewis numbers. CO and CH4 were used for the gaseous fuels in partially-premixed atmosphere tests, plus H2, C3H8 and NH3 for 1 g tests only. In most experiments 5 cm wide Kimwipe samples 15 cm long were used and were held by aluminum quenching plates. The samples were ignited by an electrically-heated Kanthal wire. The flame spread process was imaged via three video cameras and a laser shearing interferometer.

  2. Flame spread across liquids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Howard D.; Miller, Fletcher; Schiller, David; Sirignano, William

    1995-01-01

    Recent reviews of our understanding of flame spread across liquids show that there are many unresolved issues regarding the phenomenology and causal mechanisms affecting ignition susceptibility, flame spread characteristics, and flame spread rates. One area of discrepancy is the effect of buoyancy in both the uniform and pulsating spread regimes. The approach we have taken to resolving the importance of buoyancy for these flames is: (1) normal gravity (1g) and microgravity (micro g) experiments; and (2) numerical modeling at different gravitational levels. Of special interest to this work, as discussed at the previous workshop, is the determination of whether, and under what conditions, pulsating spread occurs in micro g. Microgravity offers a unique ability to modify and control the gas-phase flow pattern by utilizing a forced air flow over the pool surface.

  3. Heat Transfer to a Thin Solid Combustible in Flame Spreading at Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharjee, S.; Altenkirch, R. A.; Olson, S. L.; Sotos, R. G.

    1991-01-01

    The heat transfer rate to a thin solid combustible from an attached diffusion flame, spreading across the surface of the combustible in a quiescent, microgravity environment, was determined from measurements made in the drop tower facility at NASA-Lewis Research Center. With first-order Arrhenius pyrolysis kinetics, the solid-phase mass and energy equations along with the measured spread rate and surface temperature profiles were used to calculate the net heat flux to the surface. Results of the measurements are compared to the numerical solution of the complete set of coupled differential equations that describes the temperature, species, and velocity fields in the gas and solid phases. The theory and experiment agree on the major qualitative features of the heat transfer. Some fundamental differences are attributed to the neglect of radiation in the theoretical model.

  4. Transport and Chemical Effects on Concurrent and Opposed-flow Flame Spread at Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Son, Y.; Honda, L. K.; Ronney, P. D.

    2001-01-01

    Flame spread over flat solid fuel beds is a useful means of understanding more complex two-phase non-premixed spreading flames, such as those that may occur due to accidents in inhabited buildings and orbiting spacecraft. The role of buoyant convection on flame spread is substantial, especially for thermally-thick fuels. The conventional view, as supported by computations and space experiments, is that for quiescent mu-g conditions, the spread rate must be unsteady and decreasing until extinction occurs due to radiative losses. However, this view does not consider that radiative transfer to the fuel surface can enhance flame spread. In this work we suggest that radiative transfer from the flame itself, not just from an external source, can lead to steady flame spread at mu-g over thick fuel beds.

  5. Sounding Rocket Microgravity Experiments Elucidating Diffusive and Radiative Transport Effects on Flame Spread over Thermally-Thick Solids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Sandra L.; Hegde, U.; Bhattacharjee, S.; Deering, J. L.; Tang, L.; Altenkirch, R. A.

    2003-01-01

    A series of 6-minute microgravity combustion experiments of opposed flow flame spread over thermally-thick PMMA has been conducted to extend data previously reported at high opposed flows to almost two decades lower in flow. The effect of flow velocity on flame spread shows a square root power law dependence rather than the linear dependence predicted by thermal theory. The experiments demonstrate that opposed flow flame spread is viable to very low velocities and more robust than expected from the numerical model, which predicts that at very low velocities (less than 5 centimeters per second), flame spread rates fall off more rapidly as flow is reduced. It is hypothesized that the enhanced flame spread observed in the experiments may be due to three- dimensional hydrodynamic effects, which are not included in the zero-gravity, two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The effect of external irradiation was found to be more complex that the model predicted over the 0-2 Watts per square centimeter range. In the experiments, the flame compensated for the increased irradiation by stabilizing farther from the surface. A surface energy balance reveals that the imposed flux was at least partially offset by a reduced conductive flux from the increased standoff distance, so that the effect on flame spread was weaker than anticipated.

  6. Concurrent Flame Growth, Spread and Extinction over Composite Fabric Samples in Low Speed Purely Forced Flow in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Xiaoyang; T'ien, James S.; Ferkul, Paul V.; Olson, Sandra L.

    2015-01-01

    As a part of the NASA BASS and BASS-II experimental projects aboard the International Space Station, flame growth, spread and extinction over a composite cotton-fiberglass fabric blend (referred to as the SIBAL fabric) were studied in low-speed concurrent forced flows. The tests were conducted in a small flow duct within the Microgravity Science Glovebox. The fuel samples measured 1.2 and 2.2 cm wide and 10 cm long. Ambient oxygen was varied from 21% down to 16% and flow speed from 40 cm/s down to 1 cm/s. A small flame resulted at low flow, enabling us to observe the entire history of flame development including ignition, flame growth, steady spread (in some cases) and decay at the end of the sample. In addition, by decreasing flow velocity during some of the tests, low-speed flame quenching extinction limits were found as a function of oxygen percentage. The quenching speeds were found to be between 1 and 5 cm/s with higher speed in lower oxygen atmosphere. The shape of the quenching boundary supports the prediction by earlier theoretical models. These long duration microgravity experiments provide a rare opportunity for solid fuel combustion since microgravity time in ground-based facilities is generally not sufficient. This is the first time that a low-speed quenching boundary in concurrent spread is determined in a clean and unambiguous manner.

  7. Ignition and Wind Effects on the Transition to Flame Spread in a Microgravity Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGrattan, Kevin B.; Kashiwagi, Takashi; Baum, Howard R.; Olson, Sandra L.

    1994-01-01

    The fundamental processes involved in ignition and flame spread have been extensively studied, they are generally studied separately without combining ignition and flame spread through the transition process. Moreover, the majority of the flame spread studies assume steady state flame spread. To study the transient aspects of ignition and the transition to flame spread, a time-dependent numerical model has been developed in which a thin strip is ignited along its width with either a pilot wire, radiative source, or both. For this configuration, the model is two-dimensional. Ignition is initiated away from either end of the sample, and two different flame fronts spread in opposite directions; one flows with and the other against a prescribed external flow. Usually, the flame spread is initiated by ignition at one end of the sample with or against a slow external flow, yielding one flame front. The present configuration is more realistic than the one flame front case because there is interaction between the two flames during the ignition and transition stages.

  8. Candle Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, D. L.; Ross, H. D.; T'ien, J. S.; Chang, P.; Shu, Y.

    1999-01-01

    This work is a study of a candle flame in a microgravity environment. The purpose of the work is to determine if a steady (or quasi-steady) flame can exist in a microgravity environment, study the characteristics of the steady flame, investigate the pre-extinction flame oscillations observed in a previous experiment in more detail, and finally, determine the nature of the interactions between two closely spaced candle flames. The candle flame in microgravity is used as a model of a non-propagating, steady-state, pure diffusion flame. The present work is a continuation of two small-scale, space-based experiments on candle flames, one on the Shuttle and the other on the Mir OS. The previous studies showed nearly steady dim blue flames with flame lifetimes as high as 45 minutes, and 1 Hz spontaneous flame oscillations prior to extinction. The present paper summarizes the results of the modeling efforts to date.

  9. Transport And Chemical Effects On Concurrent And Opposed-Flow Flame Spread At Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Son, Y.; Zouein, G.; Ronney, P. D.; Gokoglu, S.

    2003-01-01

    Flame spread over flat solid fuel beds is a useful means of understanding more complex two-phase non-premixed spreading flames, such as those that may occur due to accidents in inhabited buildings and orbiting spacecraft. The role of buoyant convection on flame spread is substantial, especially for thermally-thick fuels. With suitable assumptions, deRis showed that the spread rate (S(sub f)) is proportional to the buoyant or forced convection velocity (U) and thus suggests that S(sub f) is indeterminate at mu g (since S(sub f) = U) unless a forced flow is applied. (In contrast, for thermally thin fuels, the ideal S(sub f) is independent of U.) The conventional view, as supported by computations and space experiments, is that for quiescent g conditions, S(sub f) must be unsteady and decreasing until extinction occurs due to radiative losses. However, this view does not consider that radiative transfer to the fuel surface can enhance flame spread. In recent work we have found evidence that radiative transfer from the flame itself can lead to steady flame spread at mu g over thick fuel beds. Our current work focuses on refining these experiments and a companion modeling effort toward the goal of a space flight experiment called Radiative Enhancement Effects on Flame Spread (REEFS) planned for the International Space Station (ISS) c. 2007.

  10. Candle Flames in Microgravity Video

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This video of a candle flame burning in space was taken by the Candle Flames in Microgravity (CFM) experiment on the Russian Mir space station. It is actually a composite of still photos from a 35mm camera since the video images were too dim. The images show a hemispherically shaped flame, primarily blue in color, with some yellow early int the flame lifetime. The actual flame is quite dim and difficult to see with the naked eye. Nearly 80 candles were burned in this experiment aboard Mir. NASA scientists have also studied how flames spread in space and how to detect fire in microgravity. Researchers hope that what they learn about fire and combustion from the flame ball experiments will help out here on Earth. Their research could help create things such as better engines for cars and airplanes. Since they use very weak flames, flame balls require little fuel. By studying how this works, engineers may be able to design engines that use far less fuel. In addition, microgravity flame research is an important step in creating new safety precautions for astronauts living in space. By understanding how fire works in space, the astronauts can be better prepared to fight it.

  11. Candle flames in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, D. L.; Ross, H. D.; Tien, J. S.

    1995-01-01

    The candle flame in both normal and microgravity is non-propagating. In microgravity, however, the candle flame is also non-convective where (excepting Stefan flow) pure diffusion is the only transport mode. It also shares many characteristics with another classical problem, that of isolated droplet combustion. Given their qualitatively similar flame shapes and the required heat feedback to condensed-phase fuels, the gas-phase flow and temperature fields should be relatively similar for a droplet and a candle in reduced gravity. Unless the droplet diameter is maintained somehow through non-intrusive replenishment of fuel, the quasi-steady burning characteristics of a droplet can be maintained for only a few seconds. In contrast, the candle flame in microgravity may achieve a nearly steady state over a much longer time and is therefore ideal for examining a number of combustion-related phenomena. In this paper, we examine candle flame behavior in both short-duration and long-duration, quiescent, microgravity environments. Interest in this type of flame, especially 'candle flames in weightlessness', is demonstrated by very frequent public inquiries. The question is usually posed as 'will a candle flame burn in zero gravity', or, 'will a candle burn indefinitely (or steadily) in zero gravity in a large volume of quiescent air'. Intuitive speculation suggests to some that, in the absence of buoyancy, the accumulation of products in the vicinity of the flame will cause flame extinction. The classical theory for droplet combustion with its spherically-shaped diffusion flame, however, shows that steady combustion is possible in the absence of buoyancy if the chemical kinetics are fast enough. Previous experimental studies of candle flames in reduced and microgravity environments showed the flame could survive for at least 5 seconds, but did not reach a steady state in the available test time.

  12. Candle Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, Daniel L.; Ross, Howard D.; Frate, David T.; Tien, James S.; Shu, Yong

    1997-01-01

    This work is a study of a candle flame in a microgravity environment. The purpose of the work is to determine if a steady (or quasi-steady) flame can exist in a microgravity environment, study the characteristics of the steady flame, investigate the pre-extinction flame oscillations observed in a previous experiment in more detail, and finally, determine the nature of the interactions between two closely spaced candle flames. The candle flame is used as a model combustion system, in that in microgravity it is one of the only examples of a non-propagating, steady-state, pure diffusion flame. Others have used the candle to study a number of combustion phenomena including flame flicker, flame oscillations, electric field effects and enhanced and reduced gravitational effects in flames. The present work is a continuation of a small-scale Shuttle experiment on candle flames. That study showed that the candle flame lifetimes were on the order of 40 seconds, the flames were dim blue after a transient ignition period, and that just prior to extinction the flames oscillated spontaneously for about five seconds at a frequency of 1 Hz. The authors postulated that the gas phase in the immediate vicinity of the flame was quasi-steady. Further away from the flame, however, the assertion of a quasi-steady flame was less certain, thus the authors did not prove that a steady flame could exist. They also speculated that the short lifetime of the candle flame was due to the presence of the small, weakly perforated box that surrounded the candle. The Candle Flames in Microgravity (CFM) experiment, with revised hardware, was recently flown aboard the Mir orbiting station, and conducted inside the glovebox facility by Dr. Shannon Lucid. In addition to the purposes described above, the experiments were NASA's first ability to ascertain the merits of the Mir environment for combustion science studies. In this article, we present the results of that experiment. We are also in the process

  13. Quantitative Infrared Image Analysis Of Simultaneous Upstream and Downstream Microgravity Flame Spread over Thermally-Thin Cellulose in Low Speed Forced Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, S. L.; Lee, J. R.; Fujita, O.; Kikuchi, M.; Kashiwagi, T.

    2013-01-01

    The effect of low velocity forced flow on microgravity flame spread is examined using quantitative analysis of infrared video imaging. The objective of the quantitative analysis is to provide insight into the mechanisms of flame spread in microgravity where the flame is able to spread from a central location on the fuel surface, rather than from an edge. Surface view calibrated infrared images of ignition and flame spread over a thin cellulose fuel were obtained along with a color video of the surface view and color images of the edge view using 35 mm color film at 2 Hz. The cellulose fuel samples were mounted in the center of a 12 cm wide by 16 cm tall flow duct and were ignited in microgravity using a straight hot wire across the center of the 7.5 cm wide by 14 cm long samples. Four cases, at 1 atm. 35%O2 in N2, at forced flows from 2 cm/s to 20 cm/s are presented here. This flow range captures flame spread from strictly upstream spread at low flows, to predominantly downstream spread at high flow. Surface temperature profiles are evaluated as a function of time, and temperature gradients for upstream and downstream flame spread are measured. Flame spread rates from IR image data are compared to visible image spread rate data. IR blackbody temperatures are compared to surface thermocouple readings to evaluate the effective emissivity of the pyrolyzing surface. Preheat lengths and pyrolysis lengths are evaluated both upstream and downstream of the central ignition point. A surface energy balance estimates the net heat flux from the flame to the fuel surface along the length of the fuel. Surface radiative loss and gas-phase radiation from soot are measured relative to the net heat feedback from the flame. At high surface heat loss relative to heat feedback, the downstream flame spread does not occur.

  14. Localized Ignition And Subsequent Flame Spread Over Solid Fuels In Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kashiwagi, T.; Nakamura, Y.; Prasad, K.; Baum, H.; Olson, S.; Fujita, O.; Nishizawa, K.; Ito, K.

    2003-01-01

    Localized ignition is initiated by an external radiant source at the middle of a thin solid sheet under external slow flow, simulating fire initiation in a spacecraft with a slow ventilation flow. Ignition behavior, subsequent transition simultaneously to upstream and downstream flame spread, and flame growth behavior are studied theoretically and experimentally. There are two transition stages in this study; one is the first transition from the onset of the ignition to form an initial anchored flame close to the sample surface, near the ignited area. The second transition is the flame growth stage from the anchored flame to a steady fire spread state (i.e. no change in flame size or in heat release rate) or a quasi-steady state, if either exists. Observations of experimental spot ignition characteristics and of the second transition over a thermally thin paper were made to determine the effects of external flow velocity. Both transitions have been studied theoretically to determine the effects of the confinement by a relatively small test chamber, of the ignition configuration (ignition across the sample width vs spot ignition), and of the external flow velocity on the two transitions over a thermally thin paper. This study is currently extending to two new areas; one is to include a thermoplastic sample such poly(methymethacrylate), PMMA, and the other is to determine the effects of sample thickness on the transitions. The recent results of these new studies on the first transition are briefly reported.

  15. Candle Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, D. L.; Ross, H. D.; Chang, P.; T'ien, J. S.

    2001-01-01

    The goal of this work is to study both experimentally and numerically the behavior of a candle flame burning in a microgravity environment. Two space experiments (Shuttle and Mir) have shown the candle flame in microgravity to be small (approximately 1.5 cm diameter), dim blue, and hemispherical. Near steady flames with very long flame lifetimes (up to 45 minutes in some tests) existed for many of the tests. Most of the flames spontaneously oscillated with a period of approximately 1 Hz just prior to extinction). In a previous model of candle flame in microgravity, a porous sphere wetted with liquid fuel simulated the evaporating wick. The sphere, with a temperature equal to the boiling temperature of the fuel, was at the end of an inert cone that had a prescribed temperature. This inert cone produces the quenching effect of the candle wax in the real configuration. Although the computed flame shape resembled that observed in the microgravity experiment, the model was not able to differentiate the effect of wick geometry, e.g., a long vs. a short wick. This paper presents recent developments in the numerical model of the candle flame. The primary focus has been to more realistically account for the actual shape of the candle.

  16. Radiative Ignition and the Transition to Flame Spread Investigated in the Japan Microgravity Center's 10-sec Drop Shaft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The Radiative Ignition and Transition to Spread Investigation (RITSI) is a shuttle middeck Glovebox combustion experiment developed by the NASA Lewis Research Center, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and Aerospace Design and Fabrication (ADF). It is scheduled to fly on the third United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3) mission in February 1996. The objective of RITSI is to experimentally study radiative ignition and the subsequent transition to flame spread in low gravity in the presence of very low speed air flows in two- and three-dimensional configurations. Toward this objective, a unique collaboration between NASA, NIST, and the University of Hokkaido was established to conduct 15 science and engineering tests in Japan's 10-sec drop shaft. For these tests, the RITSI engineering hardware was mounted in a sealed chamber with a variable oxygen atmosphere. Ashless filter paper was ignited during each drop by a tungsten-halogen heat lamp focused on a small spot in the center of the paper. The flame spread outward from that point. Data recorded included fan voltage (a measure of air flow), radiant heater voltage (a measure of radiative ignition energy), and surface temperatures (measured by up to three surface thermocouples) during ignition and flame spread.

  17. Forced Flow Flame-Spreading Test (FFFT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Forced Flow Flame-Spreading Test was designed to study flame spreading over solid fuels when air is flowing at a low speed in the same direction as the flame spread. Previous research has shown that in low-speed concurrent airflows, some materials are more flammable in microgravity than earth. This image shows a 10-cm flame in microgravity that burns almost entirely blue on both sides of a thin sheet of paper. The glowing thermocouple in the lower half of the flame provides temperature measurements.

  18. Flame spread across liquid pools

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Howard; Miller, Fletcher; Schiller, David; Sirignano, William A.

    1993-01-01

    For flame spread over liquid fuel pools, the existing literature suggests three gravitational influences: (1) liquid phase buoyant convection, delaying ignition and assisting flame spread; (2) hydrostatic pressure variation, due to variation in the liquid pool height caused by thermocapillary-induced convection; and (3) gas-phase buoyant convection in the opposite direction to the liquid phase motion. No current model accounts for all three influences. In fact, prior to this work, there was no ability to determine whether ignition delay times and flame spread rates would be greater or lesser in low gravity. Flame spread over liquid fuel pools is most commonly characterized by the relationship of the initial pool temperature to the fuel's idealized flash point temperature, with four or five separate characteristic regimes having been identified. In the uniform spread regime, control has been attributed to: (1) gas-phase conduction and radiation; (2) gas-phase conduction only; (3) gas-phase convection and liquid conduction, and most recently (4) liquid convection ahead of the flame. Suggestions were made that the liquid convection was owed to both vuoyancy and thermocapillarity. Of special interest to this work is the determination of whether, and under what conditions, pulsating spread can and will occur in microgravity in the absence of buoyant flows in both phases. The approach we have taken to resolving the importance of buoyancy for these flames is: (1) normal gravity experiments and advanced diagnostics; (2) microgravity experiments; and (3) numerical modelling at arbitrary gravitational level.

  19. Quantitative Infrared Image Analysis Of Thermally-Thin Cellulose Surface Temperatures During Upstream and Downstream Microgravity Flame Spread from A Central Ignition Line

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Sandra L.; Lee, J. R.; Fujita, O.; Kikuchi, M.; Kashiwagi, T.

    2012-01-01

    Surface view calibrated infrared images of ignition and flame spread over a thin cellulose fuel were obtained at 30 Hz during microgravity flame spread tests in the 10 second Japan Microgravity Center (JAMIC). The tests also used a color video of the surface view and color images of the edge view using 35 millimeter 1600 Kodak Ektapress film at 2 Hz. The cellulose fuel samples (50% long fibers from lumi pine and 50% short fibers from birch) were made with an area density of 60 grams per square meters. The samples were mounted in the center of a 12 centimeter wide by 16 centimeter tall flow duct that uses a downstream fan to draw the air through the flow duct. Samples were ignited after the experiment package was released using a straight hot wire across the center of the 7.5 centimeter wide by 14 centimeter long samples. One case, at 1 atmosphere 35%O2 in N2, at a forced flow of 10 centimeters per second, is presented here. In this case, as the test progresses, the single flame begins to separate into simultaneous upstream and downstream flames. Surface temperature profiles are evaluated as a function of time, and temperature gradients for upstream and downstream flame spread are measured. Flame spread rates from IR image data are compared to visible image spread rate data. IR blackbody temperatures are compared to surface thermocouple readings to evaluate the effective emissivity of the pyrolyzing surface. Preheat lengths are evaluated both upstream and downstream of the central ignition point. A surface energy balance estimates the net heat flux from the flame to the fuel surface along the length of the fuel.

  20. The Forced Flow Flame-Spreading Test (FFFT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Forced Flow Flame-Spreading Test was designed to study flame spreading over solid fuels when air is flowing at a low speed concurrent airflows, some materials are more flammable in microgravity than earth. 1.5 cm flame in microgravity that melts a polyethylene cylinder into a liquid ball.

  1. Studies of Flame Structure in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Law, C. K.; Sung, C. J.; Zhu, D. L.

    1997-01-01

    The present research endeavor is concerned with gaining fundamental understanding of the configuration, structure, and dynamics of laminar premixed and diffusion flames under conditions of negligible effects of gravity. Of particular interest is the potential to establish and hence study the properties of spherically- and cylindrically-symmetric flames and their response to external forces not related to gravity. For example, in an earlier experimental study of the burner-stabilized cylindrical premixed flames, the possibility of flame stabilization through flow divergence was established, while the resulting one-dimensional, adiabatic, stretchless flame also allowed an accurate means of determining the laminar flame speeds of combustible mixtures. We have recently extended our studies of the flame structure in microgravity along the following directions: (1) Analysis of the dynamics of spherical premixed flames; (2) Analysis of the spreading of cylindrical diffusion flames; (3) Experimental observation of an interesting dual luminous zone structure of a steady-state, microbuoyancy, spherical diffusion flame of air burning in a hydrogen/methane mixture environment, and its subsequent quantification through computational simulation with detailed chemistry and transport; (4) Experimental quantification of the unsteady growth of a spherical diffusion flame; and (5) Computational simulation of stretched, diffusionally-imbalanced premixed flames near and beyond the conventional limits of flammability, and the substantiation of the concept of extended limits of flammability. Motivation and results of these investigations are individually discussed.

  2. Numerical Model of Flame Spread Over Solids in Microgravity: A Supplementary Tool for Designing a Space Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shih, Hsin-Yi; Tien, James S.; Ferkul, Paul (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The recently developed numerical model of concurrent-flow flame spread over thin solids has been used as a simulation tool to help the designs of a space experiment. The two-dimensional and three-dimensional, steady form of the compressible Navier-Stokes equations with chemical reactions are solved. With the coupled multi-dimensional solver of the radiative heat transfer, the model is capable of answering a number of questions regarding the experiment concept and the hardware designs. In this paper, the capabilities of the numerical model are demonstrated by providing the guidance for several experimental designing issues. The test matrix and operating conditions of the experiment are estimated through the modeling results. The three-dimensional calculations are made to simulate the flame-spreading experiment with realistic hardware configuration. The computed detailed flame structures provide the insight to the data collection. In addition, the heating load and the requirements of the product exhaust cleanup for the flow tunnel are estimated with the model. We anticipate that using this simulation tool will enable a more efficient and successful space experiment to be conducted.

  3. Premixed Turbulent Flame Propagation in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menon, S.; Disseau, M.; Chakravarthy, V. K.; Jagoda, J.

    1997-01-01

    Papers included address the following topics: (1) Turbulent premixed flame propagation in microgravity; (2) The effect of gravity on turbulent premixed flame propagation - a preliminary cold flow study; and (3) Characteristics of a subgrid model for turbulent premixed combustion.

  4. Lifted Partially Premixed Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lock, Andrew J.; Ganguly, Ranjan; Puri, Ishwar K.; Aggarwal, Suesh K.; Hegde, Uday

    2004-01-01

    Lifted Double and Triple flames are established in the UIC-NASA Partially Premixed microgravity rig. The flames examined in this paper are established above a coannular burner because its axisymmetric geometry allows for future implementation of other non-intrusive optical diagnostic techniques easily. Both burner-attached stable flames and lifted flames are established at normal and microgravity conditions in the drop tower facility.

  5. Vortex/Flame Interactions in Microgravity Pulsed Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahadori, M. Y.; Hegde, U.; Stocker, D. P.

    2001-01-01

    Significant differences have been observed between the structure of laminar, transitional, and turbulent flames under downward, upward, and microgravity conditions. These include flame height, jet shear layer, flame instability, flicker, lift-off height, blow-off Reynolds number, and radiative properties. The primary objective of this investigation is to identify the mechanisms involved in the generation and interaction of large-scale structures in microgravity flames. This involves a study of vortex/flame interactions in a space-flight experiment utilizing a controlled, well-defined set of disturbances imposed on a laminar diffusion flame. The results provide a better understanding of the naturally occurring structures that are an inherent part of microgravity turbulent flames. The paper presents the current progress in this program.

  6. Fully Modulated Turbulent Diffusion Flames in Microgravity*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangras, Ravikiran; Hermanson, James C.; Johari, Hamid; Stocker, Dennis P.; Hegde, Uday G.

    2001-11-01

    Fully modulated, turbulent diffusion flames are studied in microgravity in 2.2 s drop-tower tests with a co-flow combustor. The fuel consists of pure ethylene or a 50/50 mixture with nitrogen; the oxidizer is either normal air or up to 40% oxygen in nitrogen. A fast solenoid valve is used to fully modulate (completely shut off) the fuel flow. The injection times range from 5 to 400 ms with a duty-cycle of 0.1 - 0.5. The fuel nozzle is 2 mm in diameter with a jet Reynolds number of 5000. The shortest injection times yield compact puffs with a mean flame length as little as 20% of that of the steady-state flame. The reduction in flame length appears to be somewhat greater in microgravity than in normal gravity. As the injection time increases, elongated flames result with a mean flame length comparable to that of a steady flame. The injection time for which the steady-state flame length is approached is shorter for lower air/fuel ratios. For a given duty-cycle, the separation between puffs is greater in microgravity than in normal gravity. For compact puffs, increasing the duty-cycle appears to increase the flame length more in microgravity than in normal gravity. The microgravity flame puffs do not exhibit the vortex-ring-like structure seen in normal gravity.

  7. Large Scale Flame Spread Environmental Characterization Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clayman, Lauren K.; Olson, Sandra L.; Gokoghi, Suleyman A.; Brooker, John E.; Ferkul, Paul V.; Kacher, Henry F.

    2013-01-01

    Under the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration Project (SFSDP), as a risk mitigation activity in support of the development of a large-scale fire demonstration experiment in microgravity, flame-spread tests were conducted in normal gravity on thin, cellulose-based fuels in a sealed chamber. The primary objective of the tests was to measure pressure rise in a chamber as sample material, burning direction (upward/downward), total heat release, heat release rate, and heat loss mechanisms were varied between tests. A Design of Experiments (DOE) method was imposed to produce an array of tests from a fixed set of constraints and a coupled response model was developed. Supplementary tests were run without experimental design to additionally vary select parameters such as initial chamber pressure. The starting chamber pressure for each test was set below atmospheric to prevent chamber overpressure. Bottom ignition, or upward propagating burns, produced rapid acceleratory turbulent flame spread. Pressure rise in the chamber increases as the amount of fuel burned increases mainly because of the larger amount of heat generation and, to a much smaller extent, due to the increase in gaseous number of moles. Top ignition, or downward propagating burns, produced a steady flame spread with a very small flat flame across the burning edge. Steady-state pressure is achieved during downward flame spread as the pressure rises and plateaus. This indicates that the heat generation by the flame matches the heat loss to surroundings during the longer, slower downward burns. One heat loss mechanism included mounting a heat exchanger directly above the burning sample in the path of the plume to act as a heat sink and more efficiently dissipate the heat due to the combustion event. This proved an effective means for chamber overpressure mitigation for those tests producing the most total heat release and thusly was determined to be a feasible mitigation

  8. Imaging of premixed flames in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostiuk, L. W.; Cheng, R. K.

    1994-12-01

    A laser schlieren system which uses video recording and digital images analysis has been developed and applied successfully to microgravity combustion experiments performed in a drop-tower. The optical system and the experiment are installed within a small package which is subjected to free-fall. The images are recorded on video tape and are digitized and analyzed by a computer-controlled image processor. The experimental results include laminar and turbulent premixed conical flames in microgravity, normal positive gravity (upward), and reverse gravity (downward). The procedures to extract frequency information from the digitized images are described. Many gross features of the effects of gravity on premixed conical flames are found. Flames that ignite easily in normal gravity fail to ignite in microgravity. Buoyancy driven instabilities associated with an interface formed between the hot products and the cold surrounding air is the mechanism through which gravity influences premixed laminar and turbulent flames. In normal gravity, this causes the flame to flicker. In reverse gravity, - g, and microgravity, μg, the interface is stable and flame flickering ceases. The flickering frequencies of + g flames vary with changing upstream boundary conditions. The absence of flame flickering in μg suggest that μg flames would be less sensitive to these changes.

  9. Vortex/Flame Interactions in Microgravity Pulsed Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahadori, M. Y.; Hegde, U.; Stocker, D. P.

    1999-01-01

    The problem of vortex/flame interaction is of fundamental importance to turbulent combustion. These interactions have been studied in normal gravity. It was found that due to the interactions between the imposed disturbances and buoyancy induced instabilities, several overall length scales dominated the flame. The problem of multiple scales does not exist in microgravity for a pulsed laminar flame, since there are no buoyancy induced instabilities. The absence of buoyant convection therefore provides an environment to study the role of vortices interacting with flames in a controlled manner. There are strong similarities between imposed and naturally occurring perturbations, since both can be described by the same spatial instability theory. Hence, imposing a harmonic disturbance on a microgravity laminar flame creates effects similar to those occurring naturally in transitional/turbulent diffusion flames observed in microgravity. In this study, controlled, large-scale, axisymmetric vortices are imposed on a microgravity laminar diffusion flame. The experimental results and predictions from a numerical model of transient jet diffusion flames are presented and the characteristics of pulsed flame are described.

  10. Transitional Gas Jet Diffusion Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agrawal, Ajay K.; Alammar, Khalid; Gollahalli, S. R.; Griffin, DeVon (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Drop tower experiments were performed to identify buoyancy effects in transitional hydrogen gas jet diffusion flames. Quantitative rainbow schlieren deflectometry was utilized to optically visualize the flame and to measure oxygen concentration in the laminar portion of the flame. Test conditions consisted of atmospheric pressure flames burning in quiescent air. Fuel from a 0.3mm inside diameter tube injector was issued at jet exit Reynolds numbers (Re) of 1300 to 1700. Helium mole percentage in the fuel was varied from 0 to 40%. Significant effects of buoyancy were observed in near field of the flame even-though the fuel jets were momentum-dominated. Results show an increase of breakpoint length in microgravity. Data suggest that transitional flames in earth-gravity at Re<1300 might become laminar in microgravity.

  11. Effect of Longitudinal Oscillations on Downward Flame Spread over Thin Solid Fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nayagam, Vedha; Sacksteder, Kurt

    2013-01-01

    Downward flame spread rates over vertically vibrated thin fuel samples are measured in air at one atmospheric pressure under normal gravity. Unlike flame spread against forced-convective flows, the present results show that with increasing vibration acceleration the flame spread rate increases before being blown off at high acceleration levels causing flame extinction. A simple scaling analysis seems to explain this phenomenon, which may have important implications to flammability studies including in microgravity environments.

  12. Microgravity Turbulent Gas-Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    A gas-jet diffusion flame is similar to the flame on a Bunsen burner, where a gaseous fuel (e.g., propane) flows from a nozzle into an oxygen-containing atmosphere (e.g., air). The difference is that a Bunsen burner allows for (partial) premixing of the fuel and the air, whereas a diffusion flame is not premixed and gets its oxygen (principally) by diffusion from the atmosphere around the flame. Simple gas-jet diffusion flames are often used for combustion studies because they embody the mechanisms operating in accidental fires and in practical combustion systems. However, most practical combustion is turbulent (i.e., with random flow vortices), which enhances the fuel/air mixing. These turbulent flames are not well understood because their random and transient nature complicates analysis. Normal gravity studies of turbulence in gas-jet diffusion flames can be impeded by buoyancy-induced instabilities. These gravitycaused instabilities, which are evident in the flickering of a candle flame in normal gravity, interfere with the study of turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames. By conducting experiments in microgravity, where buoyant instabilities are avoided, we at the NASA Lewis Research Center hope to improve our understanding of turbulent combustion. Ultimately, this could lead to improvements in combustor design, yielding higher efficiency and lower pollutant emissions. Gas-jet diffusion flames are often researched as model flames, because they embody mechanisms operating in both accidental fires and practical combustion systems (see the first figure). In normal gravity laboratory research, buoyant air flows, which are often negligible in practical situations, dominate the heat and mass transfer processes. Microgravity research studies, however, are not constrained by buoyant air flows, and new, unique information on the behavior of gas-jet diffusion flames has been obtained.

  13. Quantitative Species Measurements In Microgravity Combustion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Shin-Juh; Pilgrim, Jeffrey S.; Silver, Joel A.; Piltch, Nancy D.

    2003-01-01

    The capability of models and theories to accurately predict and describe the behavior of low gravity flames can only be verified by quantitative measurements. Although video imaging, simple temperature measurements, and velocimetry methods have provided useful information in many cases, there is still a need for quantitative species measurements. Over the past decade, we have been developing high sensitivity optical absorption techniques to permit in situ, non-intrusive, absolute concentration measurements for both major and minor flames species using diode lasers. This work has helped to establish wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) as an important method for species detection within the restrictions of microgravity-based measurements. More recently, in collaboration with Prof. Dahm at the University of Michigan, a new methodology combining computed flame libraries with a single experimental measurement has allowed us to determine the concentration profiles for all species in a flame. This method, termed ITAC (Iterative Temperature with Assumed Chemistry) was demonstrated for a simple laminar nonpremixed methane-air flame at both 1-g and at 0-g in a vortex ring flame. In this paper, we report additional normal and microgravity experiments which further confirm the usefulness of this approach. We also present the development of a new type of laser. This is an external cavity diode laser (ECDL) which has the unique capability of high frequency modulation as well as a very wide tuning range. This will permit the detection of multiple species with one laser while using WMS detection.

  14. Flame Spread and Extinction in Partial-Gravity Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sacksteder, Kurt; Ferkul, P. V.; T'ien, J. S.

    1999-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms of spreading flames under certain conditions, nearly all under the influence of normal Earth gravity. Recently, several investigators have studied some aspects of flame spread in purely forced flows in microgravity. However, very few have considered (especially experimentally) purely-buoyant flow influences, using gravity as a variable. In addition to the scientific interest in understanding how variable gravity affects flame spread in purely-buoyant flow, prospective human exploration of the Moon and Mars provides an incentive to obtain practical knowledge for use in fire-safety related engineering and mission operations in those partial-gravity environments. The purpose of this research effort is to conduct a focused experimental effort to observe the behavior of flames spreading both upward (concurrent flow) and downward (opposed flow) over thin fuels in partial-gravity environments, and to extend an existing numerical model of flame spread to predict flammability and flame spread behavior in these two regimes. A significant aspect of the experimental effort is to use a special device to improve the simulated partial-gravity environment achievable aboard reduced-gravity aircraft facilities.

  15. Smoldering, Transition and Flaming in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernandez-Pello, A. C.; Bar-Ilan, A.; Lo, T. L.; Walther, D. C.; Urban, D. L.

    2001-01-01

    A research project is underway to study smolder and the transition to flaming in microgravity. The Microgravity Smoldering Combustion (MSC) flight project is an ongoing research project to provide a better understanding of the controlling mechanisms of smoldering combustion. The Smoldering Transition and Flaming (STAF) project is a recently established research program that will utilize the Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) of the ISS to examine the transition from smolder to flaming in microgravity. In forced flow smolder experiments ambient pressure in the MSC chamber rises, thus motivating the need to understand the effects of pressure on smoldering combustion. Further, the STAF experiment has constraints on experimental scale and testing at elevated pressure may be a mechanism to reduce the sample size by enhancing the smolder reaction. In the work we are reporting here, a series of ground-based tests determine the effects of pressure on smoldering combustion. These tests are compared with data obtained from experiments conducted aboard the Space Shuttle in flights STS-69 and STS-77. Measurements of one-dimensional smolder propagation velocity are made by thermocouple probing and a non-intrusive Ultrasound Imaging System (UIS)]. Thermocouples are also used to obtain reaction temperatures and the UIS is used to determine permeabilities of the fuel in real-time.

  16. Quantitative Species Measurements in Microgravity Combustion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silver, Joel A.; Wood, William R.; Chen, Shin-Juh; Dahm, Werner J. A.; Piltch, Nancy D.

    2001-01-01

    Flame-vortex interactions are canonical configurations that can be used to study the underlying processes occurring in complicated turbulent reacting flows. The elegant simplicity of the flame-vortex interaction permits the study of these complex interactions under relatively controllable experimental configurations, in contrast to direct measurements in turbulent flames. The ability to measure and model the fundamental phenomena that occur in a turbulent flame, but with time and spatial scales which are amenable to our diagnostics, permits significant improvements in the understanding of turbulent combustion under both normal and reduced gravity conditions. In this paper, we report absolute mole fraction measurements of methane in a reacting vortex ring. These microgravity experiments are performed in the 2.2-sec drop tower at NASA Glenn Research Center. In collaboration with Drs. Chen and Dahm at the University of Michigan, measured methane absorbances are incorporated into a new model from which the temperature and concentrations of all major gases in the flame can be determined at all positions and times in the development of the vortex ring. This is the first demonstration of the ITAC (Iterative Temperature with Assumed Chemistry) approach, and the results of these computations and analyses are presented in a companion paper by Dahm and Chen at this Workshop. We believe that the ITAC approach will become a powerful tool in understanding a wide variety of combustion flames under both equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions.

  17. Flame Structure and Scalar Properties in Microgravity Laminar Fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feikema, D. A.; Lim, J.; Sivathanu, Y.

    2006-01-01

    Recent results from microgravity combustion experiments conducted in the Zero Gravity Facility (ZGF) 5.18 second drop tower are reported. Emission mid-infrared spectroscopy measurements have been completed to quantitatively determine the flame temperature, water and carbon dioxide vapor concentrations, radiative emissive power, and soot concentrations in a microgravity laminar ethylene/air flame. The ethylene/air laminar flame conditions are similar to previously reported experiments including the Flight Project, Laminar Soot Processes (LSP). Soot concentrations and gas temperatures are in reasonable agreement with similar results available in the literature. However, soot concentrations and flame structure dramatically change in long duration microgravity laminar diffusion flames as demonstrated in this paper.

  18. Characteristics of Non-Premixed Turbulent Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hegde, Uday; Yuan, Zeng-Guang; Stocker, Dennis; Bahadori, M. Yousef

    1997-01-01

    The overall objectives of this research are: (1) to obtain and analyze experimental data on flame images, and the spatial and temporal distributions of temperature, radiation, velocity and gas-phase species in microgravity turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames; and (2) to utilize these data to validate and refine the existing predictive capabilities. Work on this project commenced in June 1996. The first investigations on turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames in microgravity were initiated by Bahadori and co-workers in 1991. These studies have shown that significant differences exist in the transition processes in normal-gravity and microgravity flames, and that the turbulent flames in microgravity behave very differently as compared to their buoyancy-dominated normal-gravity counterparts. For example, in the transition regime while the visible flame height, for given fuel and nozzle size, in normal gravity decreases, the height of the microgravity flame increases. In the fully developed turbulent regime, the normal-gravity flame height is independent of injection velocity, whereas the microgravity flame height continues to increase, although at a lower rate than in the laminar and transitional regimes. Other differences between the normal-gravity and microgravity flames arise in the jet shear-layer instability characteristics, extent of the transitional regime and blow-off limit characteristics.

  19. Characteristics of Non-Premixed Turbulent Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hegde, U.; Yuan, Z. G.; Stocker, D. P.; Bahadori, M. Y.

    2001-01-01

    This project is concerned with the characteristics of turbulent hydrocarbon (primarily propane) gas-jet diffusion flames in microgravity. A microgravity environment provides the opportunity to study the structure of turbulent diffusion flames under momentum-dominated conditions (large Froude number) at moderate Reynolds number which is a combination not achievable in normal gravity. This paper summarizes progress made since the last workshop. Primarily, the features of flame radiation from microgravity turbulent jet diffusion flames in a reduced gravity environment are described. Tests were conducted for non-premixed, nitrogen diluted propane flames burning in quiescent air in the NASA Glenn 5.18 Second Zero Gravity Facility. Measured flame radiation from wedge-shaped, axial slices of the flame are compared for microgravity and normal gravity flames. Results from numerical computations of the flame using a k-e model for the turbulence are also presented to show the effects of flame radiation on the thermal field. Flame radiation is an important quantity that is impacted by buoyancy as has been shown in previous studies by the authors and also by Urban et al. It was found that jet diffusion flames burning under microgravity conditions have significantly higher radiative loss (about five to seven times higher) compared to their normal gravity counterparts because of larger flame size in microgravity and larger convective heat loss fraction from the flame in normal gravity. These studies, however, were confined to laminar flames. For the case of turbulent flames, the flame radiation is a function of time and both the time-averaged and time-dependent components are of interest. In this paper, attention is focused primarily on the time-averaged level of the radiation but the turbulent structure of the flame is also assessed from considerations of the radiation power spectra.

  20. Turbulent Premixed Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menon, Suresh

    1996-01-01

    The experimental cold-flow facility is now full operational and is currently being used to obtain baseline turbulence data in a Couette flow. The baseline turbulence data is necessary to confirm the capability of the chosen device to generate and maintain the required turbulence intensity. Subsequent reacting flow studies will assume that a similar turbulent flow field exists ahead of the premixed flame. Some modifications and refinements had to be made to enable accurate measurements. It consists of two rollers, one (driven by a motor) which drives a continuous belt and four smaller rollers used to set the belt spacing and tension to minimize belt flutter. The entire assemble is enclosed in a structure that has the dimensions to enable future drop tower experiments of the hot facility. All critical dimensions are the same as the original plans except for the pulley ratio which has been changed to enable a wider operating regime in terms of the Reynolds number. With the current setup, Reynolds numbers as low as 100 and as high as 14,000 can be achieved. This is because the in-between belt spacing can be varied from 1 cm to 7.6 cm, and the belt speed can be accurately varied from .15 m/sec to 3.1 m/sec.

  1. Ignition and subsequent flame spread over a thin cellulosic material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakabe, Kazuyoshi; Baum, Howard R.; Kashiwagi, Takashi

    1993-01-01

    Both ignition and flame spread on solid fuels are processes that not only are of considerable scientific interest but that also have important fire safety applications. Both types of processes, ignition and flame spread, are complicated by strong coupling between chemical reactions and transport processes, not only in the gas phase but also in the condensed phase. In most previous studies, ignition and flame spread were studied separately with the result that there has been little understanding of the transition from ignition to flame spread. In fire safety applications this transition is crucial to determine whether a fire will be limited to a localized, temporary burn or will transition into a growth mode with a potential to become a large fire. In order to understand this transition, the transient mechanisms of ignition and subsequent flame spread must be studied. However, there have been no definitive experimental or modeling studies, because of the complexity of the flow motion generated by buoyancy near the heated sample surface. One must solve the full Navier-Stokes equations over an extended region to represent accurately the highly unstable buoyant plume and entrainment of surrounding gas from far away. In order to avoid the complicated nature of the starting plume problem under normal gravity, previous detailed radiative ignition models were assumed to be one-dimensional or were applied at a stagnation point. Thus, these models cannot be extended to include the transition to flame spread. The mismatch between experimental and calculated geometries means that theories cannot be compared directly with experimental results in normal gravity. To overcome the above difficulty, theoretical results obtained without buoyancy can be directly compared with experimental data measured in a microgravity environment. Thus, the objective of this study is to develop a theoretical model for ignition and the transition to flame spread and to make predictions using the

  2. Characteristics of transitional and turbulent jet diffusion flames in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahadori, Yousef M.; Small, James F., Jr.; Hegde, Uday G.; Zhou, Liming; Stocker, Dennis P.

    1995-01-01

    This paper presents the ground-based results obtained to date in preparation of a proposed space experiment to study the role of large-scale structures in microgravity transitional and turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames by investigating the dynamics of vortex/flame interactions and their influence on flame characteristics. The overall objective is to gain an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of transitional and turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames. Understanding of the role of large-scale structures on the characteristics of microgravity transitional and turbulent flames will ultimately lead to improved understanding of normal-gravity turbulent combustion.

  3. Premixed Flame-Vortex Interactions Imaged in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Driscoll, J. F.; Sichel, M.; Sinibaldi, J. O.

    1997-01-01

    A unique experiment makes it now possible to obtain detailed images in microgravity showing how an individual vortex causes the wrinkling, stretching, area increase, and eventual extinction of a premixed flame. The repeatable, controllable flame-vortex interaction represents the fundamental building block of turbulent combustion concepts. New information is provided that is central to turbulent flame models, including measurements of all components of flame stretch, strain, and vorticity. Simultaneous measurements of all components of these quantities are not possible in fully turbulent flames but are possible in the present axisymmetric, repeatable experiment. Advanced PIV diagnostics have been used at one-g and have been developed for microgravity. Numerical simulations of the interaction are being performed at NRL. It is found that microgravity conditions greatly augment the flame wrinkling process. Flame area and the amplitude of wrinkles at zero-g are typically twice that observed at one-g. It is inferred that turbulent flames in microgravity could have larger surface area and thus propagate significantly faster than those in one-g, which is a potential safety hazard. A new mechanism is identified by PIV images that shows how buoyancy retards flame wrinkling at one-g; buoyancy produces new vorticity (due to baroclinic torques) that oppose the wrinkling and the stretch imposed by the original vortex. Microgravity conditions remove this stabilizing mechanism and the amplitude of flame wrinkling typically is found to double. Microgravity also increases the flame speed by a factor of 1.8 to 2.2. Both methane and propane-air flames were studied at the NASA Lewis drop tower. Results indicate that it is important to add buoyancy to models of turbulent flames to simulate the correct flame wrinkling, stretch and burning velocity.

  4. Studies of Premixed Laminar and Turbulent Flames at Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronney, Paul D.

    1993-01-01

    The work of the Principal Investigator (PI) has encompassed four topics related to the experimental and theoretical study of combustion limits in premixed flames at microgravity, as discussed in the following sections. These topics include: (1) radiation effects on premixed gas flames; (2) flame structure and stability at low Lewis number; (3) flame propagation and extinction is cylindrical tubes; and (4) experimental simulation of combustion processes using autocatalytic chemical reactions.

  5. Studies of premixed laminar and turbulent flames at microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronney, Paul D.

    1993-01-01

    A two and one-half year experimental and theoretical research program on the properties of laminar and turbulent premixed gas flames at microgravity was conducted. Progress during this program is identified and avenues for future studies are discussed.

  6. Computational Modeling of Radiative, Thermal, and Kinetic Regimes of Flame Spread

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simsek, Aslihan

    The purpose of this thesis presented is to analyze flame spread over thermally thin solid fuels in three regimes of flame spread process; radiative, thermal, and kinetic regimes. The analyses have been performed using a comprehensive two dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model written in Fortran language developed by Bhattacharjee. Flame spread over thermally thin fuels in quiescent and opposing flow microgravity environments is investigated. An extinction study is performed with different computational domain sizes for a set of fuel thicknesses to understand the effect of domain size on the extinction velocities in the radiative and kinetic regimes. The effect of development length boundary layer is studied in both radiative and kinetic regimes. It is found that flame spread rate, flame size, flame temperature, blow-off and radiative extinction velocities depend on the development length and the boundary layer created by the opposing flow. A correlation between the extinction development length and opposed flow velocity is established. Flame spread over open cell phenolic foam is investigated in detail in a quiescent microgravity environment. The critical fuel thickness is found at different oxygen concentrations and compared to those for PMMA. Pressure, oxygen concentration, and radiation studies are also performed to analyze the flame spread over foam. To understand the effect of radiation on flame spread, the CFD model is coupled with two different radiation models in a microgravity environment. The first radiation model includes gas to surface conduction, gas to environment radiation loss, gas to surface feedback radiation, and surface to environment radiation loss. The second model only excludes gas to surface radiation feedback. The results obtained using these two models are compared with the CFD results; one with radiation completely neglected, and one with only gas to surface radiation feedback neglected. Flame spread in downward

  7. Reaction Kernel Structure of a Slot Jet Diffusion Flame in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takahashi, F.; Katta, V. R.

    2001-01-01

    Diffusion flame stabilization in normal earth gravity (1 g) has long been a fundamental research subject in combustion. Local flame-flow phenomena, including heat and species transport and chemical reactions, around the flame base in the vicinity of condensed surfaces control flame stabilization and fire spreading processes. Therefore, gravity plays an important role in the subject topic because buoyancy induces flow in the flame zone, thus increasing the convective (and diffusive) oxygen transport into the flame zone and, in turn, reaction rates. Recent computations show that a peak reactivity (heat-release or oxygen-consumption rate) spot, or reaction kernel, is formed in the flame base by back-diffusion and reactions of radical species in the incoming oxygen-abundant flow at relatively low temperatures (about 1550 K). Quasi-linear correlations were found between the peak heat-release or oxygen-consumption rate and the velocity at the reaction kernel for cases including both jet and flat-plate diffusion flames in airflow. The reaction kernel provides a stationary ignition source to incoming reactants, sustains combustion, and thus stabilizes the trailing diffusion flame. In a quiescent microgravity environment, no buoyancy-induced flow exits and thus purely diffusive transport controls the reaction rates. Flame stabilization mechanisms in such purely diffusion-controlled regime remain largely unstudied. Therefore, it will be a rigorous test for the reaction kernel correlation if it can be extended toward zero velocity conditions in the purely diffusion-controlled regime. The objectives of this study are to reveal the structure of the flame-stabilizing region of a two-dimensional (2D) laminar jet diffusion flame in microgravity and develop a unified diffusion flame stabilization mechanism. This paper reports the recent progress in the computation and experiment performed in microgravity.

  8. Spread Across Liquids: The World's First Microgravity Combustion Experiment on a Sounding Rocket

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The Spread Across Liquids (SAL) experiment characterizes how flames spread over liquid pools in a low-gravity environment in comparison to test data at Earth's gravity and with numerical models. The modeling and experimental data provide a more complete understanding of flame spread, an area of textbook interest, and add to our knowledge about on-orbit and Earthbound fire behavior and fire hazards. The experiment was performed on a sounding rocket to obtain the necessary microgravity period. Such crewless sounding rockets provide a comparatively inexpensive means to fly very complex, and potentially hazardous, experiments and perform reflights at a very low additional cost. SAL was the first sounding-rocket-based, microgravity combustion experiment in the world. It was expected that gravity would affect ignition susceptibility and flame spread through buoyant convection in both the liquid pool and the gas above the pool. Prior to these sounding rocket tests, however, it was not clear whether the fuel would ignite readily and whether a flame would be sustained in microgravity. It also was not clear whether the flame spread rate would be faster or slower than in Earth's gravity.

  9. Opposed-Flow Flame Spread over Thin Solid Fuels in a Narrow Channel under Different Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xia; Yu, Yong; Wan, Shixin; Wei, Minggang; Hu, Wen-Rui

    Flame spread over solid surface is critical in combustion science due to its importance in fire safety in both ground and manned spacecraft. Eliminating potential fuels from materials is the basic method to protect spacecraft from fire. The criterion of material screening is its flamma-bility [1]. Since gas flow speed has strong effect on flame spread, the combustion behaviors of materials in normal and microgravity will be different due to their different natural convec-tion. To evaluate the flammability of materials used in the manned spacecraft, tests should be performed under microgravity. Nevertheless, the cost is high, so apparatus to simulate mi-crogravity combustion under normal gravity was developed. The narrow channel is such an apparatus in which the buoyant flow is restricted effectively [2, 3]. The experimental results of the horizontal narrow channel are consistent qualitatively with those of Mir Space Station. Quantitatively, there still are obvious differences. However, the effect of the channel size on flame spread has only attracted little attention, in which concurrent-flow flame spread over thin solid in microgravity is numerically studied[4], while the similarity of flame spread in different gravity is still an open question. In addition, the flame spread experiments under microgravity are generally carried out in large wind tunnels without considering the effects of the tunnel size [5]. Actually, the materials are always used in finite space. Therefore, the flammability given by experiments using large wind tunnels will not correctly predict the flammability of materials in the real environment. In the present paper, the effect of the channel size on opposed-flow flame spread over thin solid fuels in both normal and microgravity was investigated and compared. In the horizontal narrow channel, the flame spread rate increased before decreased as forced flow speed increased. In low speed gas flows, flame spread appeared the same trend as that in

  10. Structure of Microgravity Transitional and Pulsed Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahadori, M. Yousef; Hegde, Uday; Stocker, Dennis P.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes results obtained in a study of pulsed gas jet diffusion flames to better characterize the recently observed vortex/flame interactions in microgravity transitional and turbulent diffusion flames, and to improve the understanding of large-scale structures in corresponding normal-gravity flames. In preparation for a space experiment, tests were conducted in the 5.18-Second Zero-Gravity Facility of the NASA Lewis Research Center. Both unpulsed and pulsed laminar flames were studied and numerical modeling of these flames was carried out for data comparison and model validation. In addition, complementary tests for a series of unpulsed flames were conducted on-board the NASA KC-135 research aircraft. The microgravity transitional and turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames have been observed to be dominated by large-scale disturbances, or structures. These structures first appear intermittently in the flame at Reynolds numbers (based on the cold jet injection properties) of about 2100. With increase in injection Reynolds number, the rate of intermittent disturbances increases until the generation becomes continuous at Reynolds numbers of 3000 and higher. The behavior of these structures depends upon the velocity and temperature characteristics of the jet/flame shear layer. These characteristics are different in normal gravity and microgravity.

  11. Agglomeration of soot particles in diffusion flames under microgravity

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, H.; Fujita, O.; Ito, K.

    1994-11-01

    Experiments have been conducted to investigate the behavior of soot particles in diffusion flames under microgravity conditions using a 490-m drop shaft (10-s microgravity duration) in Hokkaido, Japan. Flames from the combustion of paper sheets and butane jet diffusion flames are observed under microgravity. The oxygen concentration of the surroundings, the butane flow rate,and the burner diameter are varied as experimental parameters. The generated soot particles are sampled under microgravity and observed using scanning electron and transmission electron microscopes. The flames with a residual convection or forced convection are also observed to examine the influence of flow field on soot particle generation under microgravity. From these results, it is found that a number of large luminous spots appear in diffusion flames under microgravity. From the observation of TEM images, the luminous spots are the result of agglomerated soot particles and the growth of their diameters to a discernible level. The diameter of the agglomerated particles measure about 0.1 mm, 200 to 500 times as large as those generated under normal gravity. It is suggested that these large soot particles are generated in the limited areas where the conditions for the formation of these particles, such as gas velocity (residence time) and oxygen concentration, are satisfied.

  12. Candle Flames in Microgravity: USML-1 Results - 1 Year Later

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, H. D.; Dietrich, D. L.; Tien, J. S.

    1994-01-01

    We report on the sustained behavior of a candle flame in microgravity determined in the glovebox facility aboard the First United States Microgravity Labomtofy. In a quiescent, microgmvjfy environment, diffusive transport becomes the dominant mode of heat and mass transfer; whether the diffusive transport rate is fast enough to sustain low-gravity candle flames in air was unknown to this series of about 70 tests. After an initial transient in which soot is observed, the microgravity candle flame in air becomes and remains hemispherical and blue (apparently soot-Ne) with a large flame standoff distance. Near flame extinction, spontaneous flame oscillations are regularly observed; these are explained as a flashback of flame through a premixed combustible gas followed by a retreat owed to flame quenching. The frequency of oscillations can be related to diffusive transport rates, and not to residual buoyant convective flow. The fact that the flame tip is the last point of the flame to survive suggests that it is the location of maximum fuel reactivity; this is unlike normal gravity, where the location of maximum fuel reactivity is the flame base. The flame color, size, and shape behaved in a quasi-steady manner; the finite size of the glovebox, combined with the restricted passages of the candlebox, inhibited the observation of true steady-state burning. Nonetheless, through calculations, and inference from the series of shuttle tests, if is concluded that a candle can burn indefinitely in a large enough ambient of air in microgravity. After igniting one candle, a second candle in close pximity could not be lit. This may be due to wax coating the wick and/or local oxygen depletion around the second, unlit candle. Post-mission testing suggests that simultaneous ignition may overcome these behaviors and enable both candles to be ignited.

  13. On burner-stabilized cylindrical premixed flames in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eng, James A.; Zhu, Delin; Law, Chung K.

    1995-01-01

    An experimental and theoretical program on cylindrical and spherical premixed flames in microgravity has been initiated. We are especially interested in: (1) assessing heat loss versus flow divergence as the dominant stabilization mechanism; (2) understanding the effects of flame curvature on the burning intensity; and (3) determining the laminar burning velocity by using this configuration. In the present study we have performed analytical, computational, and mu g-experimental investigations of the cylindrical flame. The results are presented.

  14. Particle-Image Velocimetry in Microgravity Laminar Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sunderland, P. B.; Greenberg, P. S.; Urban, D. L.; Wernet, M. P.; Yanis, W.

    1999-01-01

    This paper discusses planned velocity measurements in microgravity laminar jet diffusion flames. These measurements will be conducted using Particle-Image Velocimetry (PIV) in the NASA Glenn 2.2-second drop tower. The observations are of fundamental interest and may ultimately lead to improved efficiency and decreased emissions from practical combustors. The velocity measurements will support the evaluation of analytical and numerical combustion models. There is strong motivation for the proposed microgravity flame configuration. Laminar jet flames are fundamental to combustion and their study has contributed to myriad advances in combustion science, including the development of theoretical, computational and diagnostic combustion tools. Nonbuoyant laminar jet flames are pertinent to the turbulent flames of more practical interest via the laminar flamelet concept. The influence of gravity on these flames is deleterious: it complicates theoretical and numerical modeling, introduces hydrodynamic instabilities, decreases length scales and spatial resolution, and limits the variability of residence time. Whereas many normal-gravity laminar jet diffusion flames have been thoroughly examined (including measurements of velocities, temperatures, compositions, sooting behavior and emissive and absorptive properties), measurements in microgravity gas-jet flames have been less complete and, notably, have included only cursory velocity measurements. It is envisioned that our velocity measurements will fill an important gap in the understanding of nonbuoyant laminar jet flames.

  15. Flame spreading over a thin solid in low-speed concurrent flow- Drop tower experimental results and comparison with theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grayson, G. D.; Sacksteder, K. R.; Ferkul, P. V.; T'Ien, J. S.

    1994-01-01

    Flame spread over thin paper samples in low-speed concurrent flow is experimentally investigated in a 5.18 s drop tower. In the experiment, the oxygen molar percentage is varied from 30% down to the flame extinction limits and the forced flow velocity from 5.29 cm/s down to the quenching limits. Motion pictures are taken to observe flame shape, color, size, and spread rates. These quantities are compared with a theoretical model describing concurrent flame spread over thin solids in low-speed flows. The paper also discusses the similarity and difference between concurrent-flow and opposed-flow flame spread in microgravity and between low-speed and high-speed concurrent-flow flame spread. Finally the limitations of using a drop tower for flame spread research is assessed.

  16. Effect of Pre-evaporation on Flame Spread Limit of a Fuel Droplet Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Shin; Kikuchi, Masao; Suematsu, Takaaki; Yoda, Shinichi; Mikami, Masoto

    Spray combustion is utilized in various fields such as gas turbine and aero-engine. Combustion exhaust gas is one of the causes concerning global warming of the earth and the air pollution. In order to improve environmental problems, it is necessary to develop combustion technology which has high efficiency and low environmental loads. However, spray combustion is com-plex phenomena that grain refinement of fuel, the evaporation, diffusion, ignition and flame spread, etc. progress simultaneously. Therefore, it is important to clarify details of spray combustion mechanism. Objective of our research is clarification of flame spread mechanism between droplets for fundamental research of spray combustion by utilizing the microgravity experiments and numerical analysis. It is useful to employ a fuel droplet array as the simplified model in order to elucidate detail flame spread mechanism between fuel droplets. The micro-gravity environment enables to expand time and spatial scale without the disturbing effect of natural convection. This is useful for clarification of complex phenomena such as combustion. icrogravity experiments have been performed in a drop tower, parabolic flight, and sounding rocket. In our research, it was revealed and classified that there are three modes concerning the flame spread of a linear droplet array. Appearances of flame spread modes are depending on non-dimensional ambient temperature RT/L and droplet spacing S/d. Here, R represents the universal gas constant, T, is the gas temperature, L, is the latent heat, S, is the droplet spacing, and d, is the initial diameter of the droplet. However, flame spread mode is changed by the formation of fuel vapor around droplets. Formation of fuel vapor depends on pre-evaporation of fuel droplets. Moreover, flame structure is also changed by pre-evaporation. The flame spread limit between droplets is affected by pre-evaporation of fuel droplets. The flame spread limit (S/d) is an important factor to the

  17. On burner-stabilized cylindrical premixed flames in microgravity

    SciTech Connect

    Eng, J.A.; Law, C.K.; Zhu, D.L.

    1994-12-31

    The structure and response of the curved but unstretched cylindrically symmetric one-dimensional premixed flame generated by a cylindrical porous burner has been studied using (1) activation energy asymptotics with one-step reaction and constant properties, (2) numerical computation with detailed chemistry and transport, and (3) drop-tower microgravity experimentation. The study emphasizes the relative importance of heat loss (to the burner surface) vs flow divergence as the dominant mechanism for flame stabilization, the possibility of establishing a one-dimensional, adiabatic, unstretched, premixed flame in microgravity, the influence of curvature on the upstream and downstream burning rates of the flame, and the relation of these burning rates to those of the inherently nonadiabatic flat-burner flame as well as the freely propagating adiabatic planar flame. Results show that, with increasing flow discharge rate, the dominant flame stabilization mechanism changes from heat loss to flow divergence, hence demonstrating the feasibility of establishing a freely standing, adiabatic, one-dimensional, unstretched flame. It is further shown that, in this adiabatic, divergence-stabilized regime in which the burner discharge flux exceeds that of the adiabatic planar flame, the downstream burning flux is equal to the (constant) burning flux of the adiabatic planar flame while the upstream burning flux exceeds it, and the upstream burning velocity exhibits a maximum with increasing discharge rate. Based on the property of the downstream burning flux, it is also proposed that the laminar burning velocity of a combustible can be readily determined from the experimental values of the burner discharge rate and flame radius. Microgravity results on the flame radius compare favorably with the computed values, while the corresponding laminar burning velocity also agrees well with that obtained from independent numerical computation.

  18. Flame Radiation, Structure, and Scalar Properties in Microgravity Laminar Fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feikema, Douglas; Lim, Jongmook; Sivathanu, Yudaya

    2007-01-01

    Results from microgravity combustion experiments conducted in the Zero Gravity Research Facility (ZGF) 5.18 second drop facility are reported. The results quantify flame radiation, structure, and scalar properties during the early phase of a microgravity fire. Emission mid-infrared spectroscopy measurements have been completed to quantitatively determine the flame temperature, water and carbon dioxide vapor concentrations, radiative emissive power, and soot concentrations in microgravity laminar methane/air, ethylene/nitrogen/air and ethylene/air jet flames. The measured peak mole fractions for water vapor and carbon dioxide are found to be in agreement with state relationship predictions for hydrocarbon/air combustion. The ethylene/air laminar flame conditions are similar to previously reported results including those from the flight project, Laminar Soot Processes (LSP). Soot concentrations and gas temperatures are in reasonable agreement with similar results available in the literature. However, soot concentrations and flame structure dramatically change in long-duration microgravity laminar diffusion flames as demonstrated in this report.

  19. Radiation from Gas-Jet Diffusion Flames in Microgravity Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahadori, M. Yousef; Edelman, Raymond B.; Sotos, Raymond G.; Stocker, Dennis P.

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents the first demonstration of quantitative flame-radiation measurement in microgravity environments, with the objective of studying the influences and characteristics of radiative transfer on the behavior of gas-jet diffusion flames with possible application to spacecraft fire detection. Laminar diffusion flames of propane, burning in quiescent air at atmospheric pressure, are studied in the 5.18-Second Zero-Gravity Facility of NASA Lewis Research Center. Radiation from these flames is measured using a wide-view angle, thermopile-detector radiometer, and comparisons are made with normal-gravity flames. The results show that the radiation level is significantly higher in microgravity compared to normal-gravity environments due to larger flame size, enhanced soot formation, and entrapment of combustion products in the vicinity of the flame. These effects are the consequences of the removal of buoyancy which makes diffusion the dominant mechanism of transport. The results show that longer test times may be needed to reach steady state in microgravity environments.

  20. Radiative Enhancement Effects on Flame Spread (REEFS) Project Studied "Green House" Effects on Fire Spread

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gokoglu, Suleyman A.; Ronney, Paul

    2003-01-01

    The Radiative Enhancement Effects on Flame Spread (REEFS) project, slated for flight aboard the International Space Station, reached a major milestone by holding its Science Concept Review this year. REEFS is led by principal investigator Paul Ronney from the University of Southern California in conjunction with a project team from the NASA Glenn Research Center. The study is focusing on flame spread over flat solid fuel beds to improve our understanding of more complex fires, such as those found in manned spacecraft and terrestrial buildings. The investigation has direct implications for fire safety, both for space and Earth applications, and extends previous work with emphasis on the atmospheres and flow environments likely to be present in fires that might occur in microgravity. These atmospheres will contain radiatively active gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) from combustion products, and likely gaseous fuels such as carbon monoxide (CO) from incomplete combustion of solid fuel, as well as flows induced by ventilation currents. During tests in the 2.2-Second Drop Tower and KC-135 aircraft at Glenn, the principal investigator introduced the use of foam fuels for flame spread experiments over thermally thick fuels to obtain large spread rates in comparison to those of dense fuels such as PMMA. This enables meaningful results to be obtained even in the 2.2 s available in drop tower experiments.

  1. Stability of Enclosed Laminar Flames Studied in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stocker, Dennis P.

    1999-01-01

    In practical combustion systems, the flame is often anchored at the inlet where the fuel is injected into an air duct. This type of system is found in powerplant combustors, gas turbine combustors, and the jet engine afterburner. Despite its successful use, this configuration is vulnerable to adverse flow conditions that can cause the flame to literally lift off from the inlet or even blowout. Poor flame stability is, of course, unwanted, especially where safety has a high priority. Our understanding of the mechanisms that control flame stability is incomplete in part because the interaction of buoyant (i.e., gravity-induced) convection makes it difficult to interpret normal-gravity results. However, a comparison of normal-gravity and microgravity results can provide a clear indication of the influence of forced and buoyant flows on flame stability. Therefore, a joint microgravity study on the stability of Enclosed Laminar Flames (ELF) was carried out by researchers at The University of Iowa and the NASA Lewis Research Center. The microgravity tests were conducted in the Microgravity Glovebox (MGBX), during the STS-87 space shuttle mission in late 1997, using hardware designed and produced at Lewis. The primary objective of the ELF investigation was to determine the mechanisms controlling the stability of round, laminar, gas-jet diffusion flames in a coflow air duct. The study specifically focused on the effect of buoyancy on the flame characteristics and velocities at the lift-off, reattachment, and blowout of the flame. When the fuel or air velocity is increased to a critical value, the flame base abruptly jumps downstream, and the flame is said to have reached its lift-off condition. Flow conditions are such that the flame cannot be maintained at the burner rim despite the presence of both fuel and oxygen. When the velocity is further increased, the flame eventually extinguishes at its blowout condition. In contrast, if the velocity is reduced, the flame base

  2. Spot Radiative Ignition and Subsequent Three Dimensional Flame Spread Over Thin Cellulose Fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Sandra L.; Kashiwagi, T.; Kikuchi, M.; Fujita, O.; Ito, K.

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous radiative ignition and transition to flame spread over thin cellulose fuel samples was studied aboard the USMP-3 STS-75 Space Shuttle mission, and in three test series in the 10 second Japan Microgravity Center (JAMIC). A focused beam from a tungsten/halogen lamp was used to ignite the center of the fuel sample while an external air flow was varied from 0 to 10 cm/s. Non-piloted radiative ignition of the paper was found to occur more easily in microgravity than in normal gravity. Ignition of the sample was achieved under all conditions studied (shuttle cabin air, 21%-50% O2 in JAMIC), with transition to flame spread occurring for all but the lowest oxygen and flow conditions. While radiative ignition in a quiescent atmosphere was achieved, the flame quickly extinguished in air. The ignition delay time was proportional to the gas-phase mixing time, which is estimated using the inverse flow rate. The ignition delay was a much stronger function of flow at lower oxygen concentrations. After ignition, the flame initially spread only upstream, in a fan-shaped pattern. The fan angle increased with increasing external flow and oxygen concentration from zero angle (tunneling flame spread) at the limiting 0.5 cm/s external air flow, to 90 degrees (semicircular flame spread) for external flows at and above 5 cm/s, and higher oxygen concentrations. The fan angle was shown to be directly related to the limiting air flow velocity. Despite the convective heating from the upstream flame, the downstream flame was inhibited due to the 'oxygen shadow' of the upstream flame for the air flow conditions studied. Downstream flame spread rates in air, measured after upstream flame spread was complete and extinguished, were slower than upstream flame spread rates at the same flow. The quench regime for the transition to flame spread was skewed toward the downstream, due to the augmenting role of diffusion for opposed flow flame spread, versus the canceling effect of diffusion

  3. Research on ignition and flame spread of solid materials in Japan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ito, Kenichi; Fujita, Osamu

    1995-01-01

    Fire safety is one of the main concerns for crewed missions such as the space station. Materials used in spacecraft may burn even if metalic. There are severe restrictions on the materials used in spacecraft from the view of fire safety. However, such restrictions or safety standards are usually determined based on experimental results under normal gravity, despite large differences between the phenomena under normal and microgravity. To evaluate the appropriateness of materials for use in space, large amount of microgravity fire-safety combustion data is urgently needed. Solid material combustion under microgravity, such as ignition and flame spread, is a relatively new research field in Japan. As the other reports in this workshop describe, most of microgravity combustion research in Japan is droplet combustion as well as some research on gas phase combustion. Since JAMIC, the Japan Microgravity Center, (which offers 10 seconds microgravity time) opened in 1992, microgravity combustion research is robust, and many drop tests relating to solid combustion (paper combustion, cotton string combustion, metal combustion with Aluminium or Magnesium) have been performed. These tests proved that the 10 seconds of microgravity time at JAMIC is useful for solid combustion research. Some experiments were performed before JAMIC opened. For example, latticed paper was burned under microgravity by using a 50 m drop tower to simulate porous material combustion under microgravity. A 50 m tower provides only 2 seconds microgravity time however, and it was not long enough to investigate the solid combustion phenomena.

  4. Radiative Extinction of Gaseous Spherical Diffusion Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santa, K. J.; Chao, B. H.; Sunderland, P. B.; Urban, D. L.; Stocker, D. P.; Axelbaum, R. L.

    2007-01-01

    Radiative extinction of spherical diffusion flames was investigated experimentally and numerically. The experiments involved microgravity spherical diffusion flames burning ethylene and propane at 0.98 bar. Both normal (fuel flowing into oxidizer) and inverse (oxidizer flowing into fuel) flames were studied, with nitrogen supplied to either the fuel or the oxygen. Flame conditions were chosen to ensure that the flames extinguished within the 2.2 s of available test time; thus extinction occurred during unsteady flame conditions. Diagnostics included color video and thin-filament pyrometry. The computations, which simulated flow from a porous sphere into a quiescent environment, included detailed chemistry, transport and radiation, and yielded transient results. Radiative extinction was observed experimentally and simulated numerically. Extinction time, peak temperature, and radiative loss fraction were found to be independent of flow rate except at very low flow rates. Radiative heat loss was dominated by the combustion products downstream of the flame and was found to scale with flame surface area, not volume. For large transient flames the heat release rate also scaled with surface area and thus the radiative loss fraction was largely independent of flow rate. Peak temperatures at extinction onset were about 1100 K, which is significantly lower than for kinetic extinction. One observation of this work is that while radiative heat losses can drive transient extinction, this is not because radiative losses are increasing with time (flame size) but rather because the heat release rate is falling off as the temperature drops.

  5. Characteristics of Non-Premixed Turbulent Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hegde, U.; Yuan, Z. G.; Stocker, D. P.; Bahadori, M. Y.

    1999-01-01

    The momentum of the fuel (and/or air) jet is important in classifying gas-jet diffusion flame behavior. Normal-gravity data on gas-jet flames show that the flame height (non-dimensionalized with respect to an effective diameter) can be correlated to a density weighted Froude number in the buoyancy-dominated limit. In the momentum-dominated limit this non-dimensional flame height asymptotes to a constant value. The momentum-dominated limit under normal gravity conditions is usually obtained for very high injection velocities which in turn results in high values of the injection Reynolds number. This results in a complicated flame structure because of the large number of turbulence scales involved. In order to gain better insight into the structure of these flames it would be useful to reduce the injection Reynolds number while still maintaining turbulent conditions. This can be done in microgravity where momentum-dominated turbulent flames are obtained at much smaller velocities than in normal gravity. In this paper, experimental results on the effects of nozzle diameter and fuel dilution on flame height are discussed. The experimental values are compared with predictions from a numerical procedure utilizing the standard k-epsilon turbulence model. Flame height scaling with nozzle size and dilution is established. Differences between model predictions and measurements are presented. In order to explain these differences, evolutions of turbulent spectra and Taylor microscale along the flame axis are considered.

  6. Forced Flow Flame Spreading Test: Preliminary Findings From the USMP-3 Shuttle Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sacksteder, Kurt R.; Greenberg, Paul S.; Pettegrew, Richard D.; Tien, James S.; Ferkul, Paul V.; Shih, Hsin-Yi

    1998-01-01

    The Forced Flow Flame spreading Test (FFFT) is a study of flame spreading over solid fuels in very low-speed air flows. The FFFT experiment is part of research entitled Solid Inflammability Boundary at Low Speeds, (SIBAL) intended for operations on the Space Station. In the FFFT experiment, a series of 15 experiments conducted aboard the space shuttle during the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3) mission provided information about the structure and spreading characteristics of flames in low-speed, concurrent flows. The test samples included flat sheets of cellulose and cast cylinders of cellulose, burned in air at velocities of approximately 1 to 8 cm/sec. The test results have been successfully compared to theoretical predictions of the SIBAL program, a fundamentally based numerical simulation of concurrent flow flame spread. Additionally, some guidance for the design characteristics of the SIBAL flight experiment have been obtained including some verification of the theoretical predictions of flame size versus the required size of the SIBAL flow duct, and the effect of the presence of thermocouples in the vicinity of near-limit flames in microgravity.

  7. Development of PIV for Microgravity Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, Paul S.; Wernet, Mark P.; Yanis, William; Urban, David L.; Sunderland, Peter B.

    2003-01-01

    Results are presented from the application of Particle Image Velocimetry(PIV) to the overfire region of a laminar gas jet diffusion flame in normal gravity. A methane flame burning in air at 0.98 bar was considered. The apparatus demonstrated here is packaged in a drop rig designed for use in the 2.2 second drop tower.

  8. Flame-vortex interactions imaged in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Driscoll, James F.; Dahm, Werner J. A.; Sichel, Martin

    1995-01-01

    The scientific objective is to obtain high quality color-enhanced digital images of a vortex exerting aerodynamic strain on premixed and nonpremixed flames with the complicating effects of buoyancy removed. The images will provide universal (buoyancy free) scaling relations that are required to improve several types of models of turbulent combustion, including KIVA-3, discrete vortex, and large-eddy simulations. The images will be used to help quantify several source terms in the models, including those due to flame stretch, flame-generated vorticity, flame curvature, and preferential diffusion, for a range of vortex sizes and flame conditions. The experiment is an ideal way to study turbulence-chemistry interactions and isolate the effect of vortices of different sizes and strengths in a repeatable manner. A parallel computational effort is being conducted which considers full chemistry and preferential diffusion.

  9. Premixed turbulent flame propagation in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menon, S.; Jagoda, J.; Sujith, R.

    1995-01-01

    To reduce pollutant formation there is, at present, an increased interest in employing premixed fuel/air mixture in combustion devices. It is well known that greater control over local temperature can be achieved with premixed flames and with lean premixed mixtures, significant reduction of pollutants such as NO(x) can be achieved. However, an issue that is still unresolved is the predictability of the flame propagation speed in turbulent premixed mixtures, especially in lean mixtures. Although substantial progress has been made in recent years, there is still no direct verification that flame speeds in turbulent premixed flows are highly predictable in complex flow fields found in realistic combustors. One of the problems associated with experimental verification is the difficulty in obtaining access to all scales of motion in typical high Reynolds number flows, since, such flows contain scales of motion that range from the size of the device to the smallest Kolmogorov scale. The overall objective of this study is to characterize the behavior of turbulent premixed flames at reasonable high Reynolds number, Re(sub L). Of particular interest here is the thin flame limit where the laminar flame thickness is much smaller than the Kolmogorov scale. Thin flames occur in many practical combustion devices and will be numerically studied using a recently developed new formulation that is briefly described.

  10. Investigations of two-phase flame propagation under microgravity conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gokalp, Iskender

    2016-07-01

    Investigations of two-phase flame propagation under microgravity conditions R. Thimothée, C. Chauveau, F. Halter, I Gökalp Institut de Combustion, Aérothermique, Réactivité et Environnement (ICARE), CNRS, 1C Avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France This paper presents and discusses recent results on two-phase flame propagation experiments we carried out with mono-sized ethanol droplet aerosols under microgravity conditions. Fundamental studies on the flame propagation in fuel droplet clouds or sprays are essential for a better understanding of the combustion processes in many practical applications including internal combustion engines for cars, modern aircraft and liquid rocket engines. Compared to homogeneous gas phase combustion, the presence of a liquid phase considerably complicates the physico-chemical processes that make up combustion phenomena by coupling liquid atomization, droplet vaporization, mixing and heterogeneous combustion processes giving rise to various combustion regimes where ignition problems and flame instabilities become crucial to understand and control. Almost all applications of spray combustion occur under high pressure conditions. When a high pressure two-phase flame propagation is investigated under normal gravity conditions, sedimentation effects and strong buoyancy flows complicate the picture by inducing additional phenomena and obscuring the proper effect of the presence of the liquid droplets on flame propagation compared to gas phase flame propagation. Conducting such experiments under reduced gravity conditions is therefore helpful for the fundamental understanding of two-phase combustion. We are considering spherically propagating two-phase flames where the fuel aerosol is generated from a gaseous air-fuel mixture using the condensation technique of expansion cooling, based on the Wilson cloud chamber principle. This technique is widely recognized to create well-defined mono-size droplets

  11. Soot and Radiation Measurements in Microgravity Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ku, Jerry C.

    1996-01-01

    The subject of soot formation and radiation heat transfer in microgravity jet diffusion flames is important not only for the understanding of fundamental transport processes involved but also for providing findings relevant to spacecraft fire safety and soot emissions and radiant heat loads of combustors used in air-breathing propulsion systems. Our objectives are to measure and model soot volume fraction, temperature, and radiative heat fluxes in microgravity jet diffusion flames. For this four-year project, we have successfully completed three tasks, which have resulted in new research methodologies and original results. First is the implementation of a thermophoretic soot sampling technique for measuring particle size and aggregate morphology in drop-tower and other reduced gravity experiments. In those laminar flames studied, we found that microgravity soot aggregates typically consist of more primary particles and primary particles are larger in size than those under normal gravity. Comparisons based on data obtained from limited samples show that the soot aggregate's fractal dimension varies within +/- 20% of its typical value of 1.75, with no clear trends between normal and reduced gravity conditions. Second is the development and implementation of a new imaging absorption technique. By properly expanding and spatially-filtering the laser beam to image the flame absorption on a CCD camera and applying numerical smoothing procedures, this technique is capable of measuring instantaneous full-field soot volume fractions. Results from this technique have shown the significant differences in local soot volume fraction, smoking point, and flame shape between normal and reduced gravity flames. We observed that some laminar flames become open-tipped and smoking under microgravity. The third task we completed is the development of a computer program which integrates and couples flame structure, soot formation, and flame radiation analyses together. We found good

  12. An experimental study of opposed flow diffusion flame extinction over a thin fuel in microgravity. M.S. Thesis. Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferkul, Paul V.

    1989-01-01

    The flame spread and flame extinction characteristics of a thin fuel burning in a low-speed forced convective environment in microgravity were examined. The flame spread rate was observed to decrease both with decreasing ambient oxygen concentration as well as decreasing free stream velocity. A new mode of flame extinction was observed, caused by either of two means: keeping the free stream velocity constant and decreasing the oxygen concentration, or keeping the oxygen concentration constant and decreasing the free stream velocity. This extinction is called quenching extinction. By combining this data together with a previous microgravity quiescent flame study and normal-gravity blowoff extinction data, a flammability map was constructed with molar percentage oxygen and characteristic relative velocity as coordinates. The Damkohler number is not sufficient to predict flame spread and extinction in the near quench limit region.

  13. Premixed Turbulent Flame Propagation in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menon, Suresh

    1999-01-01

    A combined numerical-experimental study has been carried out to investigate the structure and propagation characteristics of turbulent premixed flames with and without the influence of buoyancy. Experimentally, the premixed flame characteristics are studied in the wrinkled regime using a Couette flow facility and an isotropic flow facility in order to resolve the scale of flame wrinkling. Both facilities were chosen for their ability to achieve sustained turbulence at low Reynolds number. This implies that conventional diagnostics can be employed to resolve the smallest scales of wrinkling. The Couette facility was also built keeping in mind the constraints imposed by the drop tower requirements. Results showed that the flow in this Couette flow facility achieves full-developed turbulence at low Re and all turbulence statistics are in good agreement with past measurements on large-scale facilities. Premixed flame propagation studies were then carried out both using the isotropic box and the Couette facility. Flame imaging showed that fine scales of wrinkling occurs during flame propagation. Both cases in Ig showed significant buoyancy effect. To demonstrate that micro-g can remove this buoyancy effect, a small drop tower was built and drop experiments were conducted using the isotropic box. Results using the Couette facility confirmed the ability to carry out these unique reacting flow experiments at least in 1g. Drop experiments at NASA GRC were planned but were not completed due to termination of this project.

  14. Time-dependent Computational Studies of Premixed Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kailasanath, K.; Patnaik, Gopal; Oran, Elaine S.

    1993-01-01

    This report describes the research performed at the Center for Reactive Flow and Dynamical Systems in the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics, at the Naval Research Laboratory, in support of NASA Microgravity Science and Applications Program. The primary focus of this research is on investigating fundamental questions concerning the propagation and extinction of premixed flames in earth gravity and in microgravity environments. Our approach is to use detailed time-dependent, multispecies, numerical models as tools to simulate flames in different gravity environments. The models include a detailed chemical kinetics mechanism consisting of elementary reactions among the eight reactive species involved in hydrogen combustion, coupled to algorithms for convection, thermal conduction, viscosity, molecular and thermal diffusion, and external forces. The external force, gravity, can be put in any direction relative to flame propagation and can have a range of values. Recently more advanced wall boundary conditions such as isothermal and no-slip have been added to the model. This enables the simulation of flames propagating in more practical systems than before. We have used the numerical simulations to investigate the effects of heat losses and buoyancy forces on the structure and stability of flames, to help resolve fundamental questions on the existence of flammability limits when there are no external losses or buoyancy forces in the system, to understand the interaction between the various processes leading to flame instabilities and extinguishment, and to study the dynamics of cell formation and splitting. Our studies have been able to bring out the differences between upward- and downward-propagating flames and predict the zero-gravity behavior of these flames. The simulations have also highlighted the dominant role of wall heat losses in the case of downward-propagating flames. The simulations have been able to qualitatively predict the

  15. Visualization and imaging methods for flames in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weiland, Karen J.

    1993-01-01

    The visualization and imaging of flames has long been acknowledged as the starting point for learning about and understanding combustion phenomena. It provides an essential overall picture of the time and length scales of processes and guides the application of other diagnostics. It is perhaps even more important in microgravity combustion studies, where it is often the only non-intrusive diagnostic measurement easily implemented. Imaging also aids in the interpretation of single-point measurements, such as temperature, provided by thermocouples, and velocity, by hot-wire anemometers. This paper outlines the efforts of the Microgravity Combustion Diagnostics staff at NASA Lewis Research Center in the area of visualization and imaging of flames, concentrating on methods applicable for reduced-gravity experimentation. Several techniques are under development: intensified array camera imaging, and two-dimensional temperature and species concentrations measurements. A brief summary of results in these areas is presented and future plans mentioned.

  16. Time-dependent computational studies of flames in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oran, Elaine S.; Kailasanath, K.

    1989-01-01

    The research performed at the Center for Reactive Flow and Dynamical Systems in the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics, at the Naval Research Laboratory, in support of the NASA Microgravity Science and Applications Program is described. The primary focus was on investigating fundamental questions concerning the propagation and extinction of premixed flames in Earth gravity and in microgravity environments. The approach was to use detailed time-dependent, multispecies, numerical models as tools to simulate flames in different gravity environments. The models include a detailed chemical kinetics mechanism consisting of elementary reactions among the eight reactive species involved in hydrogen combustion, coupled to algorithms for convection, thermal conduction, viscosity, molecular and thermal diffusion, and external forces. The external force, gravity, can be put in any direction relative to flame propagation and can have a range of values. A combination of one-dimensional and two-dimensional simulations was used to investigate the effects of curvature and dilution on ignition and propagation of flames, to help resolve fundamental questions on the existence of flammability limits when there are no external losses or buoyancy forces in the system, to understand the mechanism leading to cellular instability, and to study the effects of gravity on the transition to cellular structure. A flame in a microgravity environment can be extinguished without external losses, and the mechanism leading to cellular structure is not preferential diffusion but a thermo-diffusive instability. The simulations have also lead to a better understanding of the interactions between buoyancy forces and the processes leading to thermo-diffusive instability.

  17. Effect of Slow External Flow on Flame Spreading over Solid Material: Opposed Spreading over Polyethylene Wire Insulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, O.; Nishizawa, K.; Ito, K.; Olson, S. L.; Kashigawa, T.

    2001-01-01

    The effect of slow external flow on solid combustion is very important from the view of fire safety in space because the solid material in spacecraft is generally exposed to the low air flow for ventilation. Further, the effect of low external flow on fuel combustion is generally fundamental information for industrial combustion system, such as gas turbine, boiler incinerator and so on. However, it is difficult to study the effect of low external flow on solid combustion in normal gravity, because the buoyancy-induced flow strongly disturbs the flow field, especially for low flow velocity. In this research therefore, the effect of slow external flow on opposed flame spreading over polyethylene (PE) wire insulation have been investigated in microgravity. The microgravity environment was provided by Japan Microgravity Center (JAMIC) in Japan and KC-135 at NASA GRC. The tested flow velocity range is 0-30cm/s with different oxygen concentration and inert gas component.

  18. Diffusion flame extinction in slow convection flow under microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Chiun-Hsun

    1986-01-01

    A theoretical analysis is presented to study the extinction characteristics of a diffusion flame near the leading edge of a thin fuel plate in slow, forced convective flows in a microgravity environment. The mathematical model includes two-dimensional Navier-Stokes momentum, energy and species equations with one-step overall chemical reaction using second-order finite rate Arrhenius kinetics. Radiant heat loss on the fuel plate is applied in the model as it is the dominant mechanism for flame extinguishment in the small convective flow regime. A parametric study based on the variation of convective flow velocity, which varies the Damkchler number (Da), and the surface radiant heat loss parameter (S) simultaneously, is given. An extinction limit is found in the regime of slow convective flow when the rate of radiant heat loss from fuel surface outweighs the rate of heat generation due to combustion. The transition from existent envelope flame to extinguishment consists of gradual flame contraction in the opposed flow direction together with flame temperature reduction as the convective flow velocity decreases continuously until the extinction limit is reached. A case of flame structure subjected to surface radiant heat loss is also presented and discussed.

  19. Diffusion flame extinction in slow convenctive flow under microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, C. H.

    1986-01-01

    A theoretical analysis is presented to study the extinction characteristics of a diffusion flame near the leading edge of a thin fuel plate in slow, forced convective flows in a microgravity environment. The mathematical model includes two-dimensional Navier-Stokes momentum, energy and species equations with one-step overall chemical reaction using second-order finite rate Arrhenius kinetics. Radiant heat loss on the fuel plate is applied in the model as it is the dominant mechanism for flame extinguishment in the small convective flow regime. A parametric study based on the variation of convective flow velocity, which varies the Damkohler number (Da), and the surface radiant heat loss parameter (S) simultaneously, is given. An extinction limit is found in the regime of slow convective flow when the rate of radiant heat loss from fuel surface outweighs the rate of heat generation due to combustion. The transition from existent envelope flame to extinguishment consists of gradual flame contraction in the opposed flow direction together with flame temperature reduction as the convective flow velocity decreases continuously until the extinction limit is reached. A case of flame structure subjected to surface radiant heat loss is also presented and discussed.

  20. Computational predictions of flame spread over alcohol pools

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schiller, D. N.; Ross, H. D.; Sirignano, W. A.

    1993-01-01

    The effects of buoyancy and thermocapillarity on pulsating and uniform flame spread above n-propanol fuel pools have been studied using a numerical model. Data obtained indicate that the existence of pulsating flame spread is dependent upon the formation of a gas-phase recirculation cell which entrains evaporating fuel vapor in front of the leading edge of the flame. The size of the recirculation cell which is affected by the extent of liquid motion ahead of the flame, is shown to dictate whether flame spread is uniform or pulsating. The amplitude and period of the flame pulsations are found to be proportional to the maximum extent of the flow head. Under conditions considered, liquid motion was not affected appreciably by buoyancy. Horizontal convection in the liquid is the dominant mechanism for transporting heat ahead of the flame for both the pulsating and uniform regimes.

  1. Buoyancy effects on the temperature field in downward spreading flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altenkirch, R. A.; Winchester, D. C.; Eichhorn, R.

    1982-01-01

    It is shown that flames which spread vertically down thermally thin fuels at the same Damkoehler number, and therefore have the same dimensionless spread rate, also have the same dimensionless temperature fields irrespective of differences in physical size. The Frey and Tien (1976) effects of pressure on flame size are due to the effects of pressure on the character of the induced buoyant flow.

  2. Opposed-Flow Flame Spread in a Narrow Channel Apparatus over Thin PMMA Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bornand, G. R.; Olson, Sandra L.; Miller, F. J.; Pepper, J. M.; Wichman, I. S.

    2013-01-01

    Flame spread tests have been conducted over polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) samples in San Diego State University's Narrow Channel Apparatus (SDSU NCA). The Narrow Channel Apparatus (NCA) has the ability to suppress buoyant flow in horizontally spreading flames, and is currently being investigated as a possible replacement or complement to NASA's current material flammability test standard for non-metallic solids, NASA-STD-(I)-6001B Test 1. The buoyant suppression achieved with a NCA allows for tests to be conducted in a simulated microgravity atmosphere-a characteristic that Test 1 lacks since flames present in Test 1 are buoyantly driven. The SDSU NCA allows for flame spread tests to be conducted with varying opposed flow oxidizer velocities, oxygen percent by volume, and total pressure. Also, since the test sample is placed symmetrically between two confining plates so that there is a gap above and below the sample, this gap can be adjusted. This gap height adjustment allows for a compromise between heat loss from the flame to the confining boundaries and buoyancy suppression achieved by those boundaries. This article explores the effect gap height has on the flame spread rate for 75 µm thick PMMA at 1 atm pressure and 21% oxygen concentration by volume in the SDSU NCA. Flame spread results from the SDSU NCA for thin cellulose fuels have previously been compared to results from tests in actual microgravity at various test conditions with the same sample materials and were found to be in good agreement. This article also presents results from the SDSU NCA for PMMA at 1 atm pressure, opposed oxidizer velocity ranging from 3 to 35 cm/s, oxygen concentration by volume at 21%, 30 %, and 50% and fuel thicknesses of 50 and 75 µm. These results are compared to results obtained in actual microgravity for PMMA obtained at the 4.5s drop tower of MGLAB in Gifu, Japan, and the 5.2s drop tower at NASA's Zero-Gravity Research Facility in Cleveland, OH. This comparison confirms

  3. Upward Flame Spread Over Thin Solids in Partial Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feier, I. I.; Shih, H. Y.; Sacksteder, K. R.; Tien, J. S.

    2001-01-01

    The effects of partial-gravity, reduced pressure, and sample width on upward flame spread over a thin cellulose fuel were studied experimentally and the results were compared to a numerical flame spread simulation. Fuel samples 1-cm, 2-cm, and 4-cm wide were burned in air at reduced pressures of 0.2 to 0.4 atmospheres in simulated gravity environments of 0.1-G, 0.16-G (Lunar), and 0.38-G (Martian) onboard the NASA KC-135 aircraft and in normal-gravity tests. Observed steady flame propagation speeds and pyrolysis lengths were approximately proportional to the gravity level. Flames spread more quickly and were longer with the wider samples and the variations with gravity and pressure increased with sample width. A numerical simulation of upward flame spread was developed including three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations, one-step Arrhenius kinetics for the gas phase flame and for the solid surface decomposition, and a fuel-surface radiative loss. The model provides detailed structure of flame temperatures, the flow field interactions with the flame, and the solid fuel mass disappearance. The simulation agrees with experimental flame spread rates and their dependence on gravity level but predicts a wider flammable region than found by experiment. Some unique three-dimensional flame features are demonstrated in the model results.

  4. Upward And Downward Flame Spreading And Extinction In Partial Gravity Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sacksteder, Kurt R.; Feier, Ioan I.; Ferkul, Paul V.; Kumar, Amit; T'ien, James S.

    2003-01-01

    The premise of this research effort has been to begin exploring the gap in the literature between studies of material flammability and flame spread phenomena in normal-gravity and those conducted in the microgravity environment, with or without forced flows. From a fundamental point of view, flame spreading in upward (concurrent) buoyant flow is considerably different from concurrent forced flow. The flow accelerates throughout the length of the buoyant flame bringing the streamlines and the flame closer to the fuel surface and strengthening the interaction between the flame and fuel. Forced flows are diverted around the flame and away from the fuel surface, except where the flow might be constrained by a finite duct. The differences may be most clearly felt as the atmospheric conditions, viz. pressure or oxygen content, approach the flammability limit. From a more practical point of view, flame spreading and material flammability behavior have not been studied under the partial gravity conditions that are the natural state in space exploration destinations such as the Moon and Mars. This effort constitutes the beginning of the research needed to engineer fire safety provisions for such future missions. In this program we have performed partial-gravity experiments (from 0.1 to 1 g/g(sub Earth)) considering both upward and downward flame spread over thin solid fuels aboard the NASA KC-135 aircraft. In those tests, the atmospheric pressure and the fuel sample width were varied. Steady flame spread rates and approximate extinction boundaries were determined. Flame images were recorded using video cameras and two-dimensional fuel surface temperature distributions were determined using an IR camera. These results are available, and complement our earlier work in downward spread in partial gravity varying oxygen content. In conjunction with the experiment, three-dimensional models of flame spreading in buoyant flow have been developed. Some of the computed results on

  5. Structure and dynamics of premixed flames in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kailasanath, K.; Patnaik, Gopal

    1993-01-01

    In this report we describe the research performed at the Naval Research Laboratory in support of the NASA Microgravity Science and Applications Program over the past three years with emphasis on the work performed since February 1992, the beginning of the current project. The focus of our research has been on investigating fundamental combustion questions concerning the propagation and extinction of gas-phase flames in microgravity and earth-gravity environments. Our approach to resolving these fundamental questions has been to use detailed time-dependent, multidimensional numerical models to perform carefully designed computational experiments. The basic questions we have addressed, a general description of the numerical approach, and a summary of the results are described in this report. More detailed discussions are available in the papers published which are referenced herein.

  6. Oxygen and Fuel Jet Diffusion Flame Studies in Microgravity Motivated by Spacecraft Oxygen Storage Fire Safety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sunderland, P. B.; Yuan, Z.-G.; Krishnan, S. S.; Abshire, J. M.; Gore, J. P.

    2003-01-01

    Owing to the absence of past work involving flames similar to the Mir fire namely oxygen-enhanced, inverse gas-jet diffusion flames in microgravity the objectives of this work are as follows: 1. Observe the effects of enhanced oxygen conditions on laminar jet diffusion flames with ethane fuel. 2. Consider both earth gravity and microgravity. 3. Examine both normal and inverse flames. 4. Compare the measured flame lengths and widths with calibrated predictions of several flame shape models. This study expands on the work of Hwang and Gore which emphasized radiative emissions from oxygen-enhanced inverse flames in earth gravity, and Sunderland et al. which emphasized the shapes of normal and inverse oxygen-enhanced gas-jet diffusion flames in microgravity.

  7. Thermal Characteristics and Structure of Fully-Modulated, Turbulent Diffusion Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hermanson, J. C.; Johari, H.; Stocker, D. P.; Hegde, U. G.

    2003-01-01

    Turbulent jet diffusion flames are studied in microgravity and normal gravity under fully-modulated conditions for a range of injection times and a 50% duty cycle. Diluted ethylene was injected through a 2-mm nozzle at a Reynolds number of 5,000 into an open duct, with a slow oxidizer co-flow. Microgravity tests are conducted in NASA's 2.2 Second Drop Tower. Flames with short injection times and high duty cycle exhibit a marked increase in the ensemble-averaged flame length due to the removal of buoyancy. The cycle-averaged centerline temperature profile reveals higher temperatures in the microgravity flames, especially at the flame tip where the difference is about 200 K. In addition, the cycle-averaged measurements of flame radiation were about 30% to 60% greater in microgravity than in normal gravity.

  8. Flame-Vortex Interactions Imaged in Microgravity - To Assess the Theory Flame Stretch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Driscoll, James F.

    2001-01-01

    The goals of this research are to: 1) Assess the Theory of Flame Stretch by operating a unique flame-vortex experiment under microgravity conditions in the NASA Glenn 2.2 Second Drop Tower (drops to identify operating conditions have been completed); 2) Obtain high speed shadowgraph images (500-1000 frames/s) using the drop rig (images were obtained at one-g, and the NASA Kodak RO camera is being mounted on the drop rig); 3) Obtain shadowgraph and PIV images at 1-g while varying the effects of buoyancy by controlling the Froude number (completed); 4) Numerically model the inwardly-propagating spherical flame that is observed in the experiment using full chemistry and the RUN 1DL code (completed); 5) Send images of the flame shape to Dr. G. Patniak at NRL who is numerically simulating the entire flame-vortex interaction of the present experiment (data transfer completed); and 6) Assess the feasibility of obtaining PIV velocity field images in the drop rig, which would be useful (but not required) for our assessment of the Theory of Flame Stretch (PIV images were obtained at one-g using same low laser power that is available from fiber optic cable in drop tower). The motivation for the work is to obtain novel measurement needed to develop a physically accurate model of turbulent combustion that can help in the control of engine pollutants. The unique experiment allows, for the first time, the detailed study of a negatively-curved (negatively stretched) flame, which is one of the five fundamental types of premixed flames. While there have been studies of flat flames, positively-curved (outwardly-propagating) cases and positively-strained (counterflow) cases, this is the first detailed study of a negatively-curved (inwardly-propagating) flame. The first set of drops in the 2.2 Second Drop Tower showed that microgravity provides more favorable conditions for achieving inwardly-propagating flames (IPFs) than 1-g. A vortex interacts with a flame and creates a spherical

  9. Characteristics of Gaseous Diffusion Flames with High Temperature Combustion Air in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ghaderi, M.; Gupta, A. K.

    2003-01-01

    The characteristics of gaseous diffusion flames have been obtained using high temperature combustion air under microgravity conditions. The time resolved flame images under free fall microgravity conditions were obtained from the video images obtained. The tests results reported here were conducted using propane as the fuel and about 1000 C combustion air. The burner included a 0.686 mm diameter central fuel jet injected into the surrounding high temperature combustion air. The fuel jet exit Reynolds number was 63. Several measurements were taken at different air preheats and fuel jet exit Reynolds number. The resulting hybrid color flame was found to be blue at the base of the flame followed by a yellow color flame. The length and width of flame during the entire free fall conditions has been examined. Also the relative flame length and width for blue and yellow portion of the flame has been examined under microgravity conditions. The results show that the flame length decreases and width increases with high air preheats in microgravity condition. In microgravity conditions the flame length is larger with normal temperature combustion air than high temperature air.

  10. Trioxane-Air Counterflow Diffusion Flames in Normal and Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linteris, Gregory T.; Urban, David L.

    2001-01-01

    Trioxane, a weakly bound polymer of formaldehyde (C3H6O3, m.p. 61 C, b.p. 115 C), is a uniquely suited compound for studying material flammability. Like many of the more commonly used materials for such tests (e.g., delrin, polyethylene, acrylic sheet, wood, and paper), it displays relevant phenomena (internal heat conduction, melting, vaporization, thermal decomposition, and gas phase reaction of the decomposition products). Unlike the other materials, however, it is non-sooting and has simple and well-known chemical kinetic pathways for its combustion. Hence it should prove to be much more useful for numerical modeling of surface combustion than the complex fuels typically used. We have performed the first exploratory tests of trioxane combustion in the counterflow configuration to determine its potential as a surrogate solid fuel which allows detailed modeling. The experiments were performed in the spring and summer of 1998 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD, and at NASA-GRC in Cleveland. Using counterflow flames at 1-g, we measured the fuel consumption rate and the extinction conditions with added N2 in the air; at mg conditions, we observed the ignition characteristics and flame shape from video images. We have performed numerical calculations of the flame structure, but these are not described here due to space limitations. This paper summarizes some burning characteristics of trioxane relevant to its use for studying flame spread and fire suppression.

  11. Flame propagation experiment of PMMA particle cloud in a microgravity environment

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Hideaki; Ono, Naomichi; Okuyama, Yozo; Niioka, Takashi

    1994-12-31

    The flame propagation experiments on clouds of purely spherical PMMA particles in a microgravity environment were conducted by using the Japan Microgravity Center (JAMIC) drop shaft, where a microgravity condition of 10{sup {minus}4} g for 10 s is available. The exact measurement of the burning velocity of the particle cloud was impossible due to the particle sedimentation in normal gravity up to now. The particle cloud was created using a fluidized-bed-type device and suspended in the flame propagation tube. The cloud was ignited at the open end of the tube, and the flame speed was measured by charge coupled device (CCD) video camera images. The flame speed in normal gravity was also measured, and the two groups of results were compared. The results showed that the flame speed in normal gravity was considerably larger than for ordinary gaseous flames, since turbulent combustion occurred due to the residual turbulence of the flow and the turbulence generated by the particle sedimentation. On the other hand, in the microgravity environment, when the cloud was ignited 6 s after the release of the capsule, the particles were quiescent and dispersed with sufficient uniformity, indicating the effectiveness of the long duration microgravity environment on the decay of turbulence. The flame speed decreased drastically in comparison with normal gravity cases, but the dependence of the flame speed on the particle concentration was similar to that in normal gravity.

  12. Buoyancy effects on flames spreading down thermally thin fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altenkirch, R. A.; Eichhorn, R.; Shang, P. C.

    1980-01-01

    Experiments show that buoyancy influences the downward spread rate of flames consuming thermally thin fuel beds. For index cards (0.0098 cm half-thickness) and adding-machine tape (0.0043 cm half-thickness), an increase in the buoyancy level causes the spread rate to drop until no flame propagation is possible. A dimensionless spread rate is found to correlate with a Damkoehler number. As the Damkoehler number increases with decreasing buoyancy level brought about by an increase in pressure or a decrease in gravity, the dimensionless spread rate approaches unity. It is also found that a small change in orientation with respect to the vertical is equivalent to a change in the magnitude of gravity in the direction of spread, and power-law relations between the dimensional spread rate and pressure are only valid over a small pressure range.

  13. Studies of Premixed Laminar and Turbulent Flames at Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abid, M.; Aung, K.; Ronney, P. D.; Sharif, J. A.; Wu, M.-S.

    1999-01-01

    Several topics relating to combustion limits in premixed flames at reduced gravity have been studied. These topics include: (1) flame balls; (2) numerical simulation of flame ball and planar flame structure and stability; (3) experimental simulation of buoyancy effects in premixed flames using aqueous autocatalytic reactions; and (4) premixed flame propagation in Hele-Shaw cells.

  14. Gravity effects on flame spreading over solid surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andracchio, C. R.; Cochran, T. H.

    1976-01-01

    The effects of gravity on the spreading of a flame over a solid combustible surface were determined. Flame propagation rates were measured from specimens of thin cellulose acetate sheets burning in both normal gravity (1 g) and reduced gravity (0 g) environments; the specimens were burned in various quiescent mixtures of oxygen, helium, argon, and nitrogen. A correlation for normal gravity and reduced gravity burning was obtained based on theoretical models of previous investigators.

  15. Effects of Structure and Hydrodynamics on the Sooting Behavior of Spherical Microgravity Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sunderland, P. B.; Axelbaum, Richard L.; Urban, D. L.

    2000-01-01

    We have examined the sooting behavior of spherical microgravity diffusion flames burning ethylene at atmospheric pressure in the NASA Glenn 2.2-second drop tower. In a novel application of microgravity, spherical flames allowed convection across the flame to be either from fuel to oxidizer or from oxidizer to fuel. Thus, microgravity flames are uniquely capable of allowing independent variation of convection direction across the flame and stoichiometric mixture fraction, Z(sub st). This allowed us to determine the dominant mechanism responsible for the phenomenon of permanently-blue diffusion flames -- flames that remain blue as strain rate approaches zero. Stoichiometric mixture fraction was varied by changing inert concentrations such that adiabatic flame temperature did not change. At low and high Z(sub st) nitrogen was supplied with the oxidizer and the fuel, respectively. For the present flames, structure (Z(sub st)) was found to have a profound effect on soot production. Soot-free conditions were observed at high Z(sub st) (Z(sub st) = 0.78) and sooting conditions were observed at low Z(sub st) (Z(sub st) = 0.064) regardless of the direction of convection. Convection direction was found to have a lesser impact on soot inception, with formation being suppressed when convection at the flame sheet was directed towards the oxidizer.

  16. Photovoltaic module spread-of-flame testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugimura, R. S.; Otth, D. H.; Arnett, J. C.

    1984-10-01

    Photovoltaic modules used in solar energy conversion are tested for flammability. Class B burning brand tests were conducted with the following results: module glass shattered and hydrocarbon encapsulants ignited. Penetration of back surface material was the prime cause of failure. Materials with greater flame and heat resistance are under consideration to increase back surface integrity up to Class A burning brand standard. The most promising is stainless steel foil.

  17. Role of buoyant flame dynamics in wildfire spread

    PubMed Central

    Finney, Mark A.; Cohen, Jack D.; Forthofer, Jason M.; McAllister, Sara S.; Gollner, Michael J.; Gorham, Daniel J.; Saito, Kozo; Akafuah, Nelson K.; Adam, Brittany A.; English, Justin D.

    2015-01-01

    Large wildfires of increasing frequency and severity threaten local populations and natural resources and contribute carbon emissions into the earth-climate system. Although wildfires have been researched and modeled for decades, no verifiable physical theory of spread is available to form the basis for the precise predictions needed to manage fires more effectively and reduce their environmental, economic, ecological, and climate impacts. Here, we report new experiments conducted at multiple scales that appear to reveal how wildfire spread derives from the tight coupling between flame dynamics induced by buoyancy and fine-particle response to convection. Convective cooling of the fine-sized fuel particles in wildland vegetation is observed to efficiently offset heating by thermal radiation until convective heating by contact with flames and hot gasses occurs. The structure and intermittency of flames that ignite fuel particles were found to correlate with instabilities induced by the strong buoyancy of the flame zone itself. Discovery that ignition in wildfires is critically dependent on nonsteady flame convection governed by buoyant and inertial interaction advances both theory and the physical basis for practical modeling. PMID:26183227

  18. Role of buoyant flame dynamics in wildfire spread.

    PubMed

    Finney, Mark A; Cohen, Jack D; Forthofer, Jason M; McAllister, Sara S; Gollner, Michael J; Gorham, Daniel J; Saito, Kozo; Akafuah, Nelson K; Adam, Brittany A; English, Justin D

    2015-08-11

    Large wildfires of increasing frequency and severity threaten local populations and natural resources and contribute carbon emissions into the earth-climate system. Although wildfires have been researched and modeled for decades, no verifiable physical theory of spread is available to form the basis for the precise predictions needed to manage fires more effectively and reduce their environmental, economic, ecological, and climate impacts. Here, we report new experiments conducted at multiple scales that appear to reveal how wildfire spread derives from the tight coupling between flame dynamics induced by buoyancy and fine-particle response to convection. Convective cooling of the fine-sized fuel particles in wildland vegetation is observed to efficiently offset heating by thermal radiation until convective heating by contact with flames and hot gasses occurs. The structure and intermittency of flames that ignite fuel particles were found to correlate with instabilities induced by the strong buoyancy of the flame zone itself. Discovery that ignition in wildfires is critically dependent on nonsteady flame convection governed by buoyant and inertial interaction advances both theory and the physical basis for practical modeling. PMID:26183227

  19. Studies of Premixed Laminar and Turbulent Flames at Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwon, O. C.; Abid, M.; Porres, J.; Liu, J. B.; Ronney, P. D.; Struk, P. M.; Weiland, K. J.

    2003-01-01

    Several topics relating to premixed flame behavior at reduced gravity have been studied. These topics include: (1) flame balls; (2) flame structure and stability at low Lewis number; (3) experimental simulation of buoyancy effects in premixed flames using aqueous autocatalytic reactions; and (4) premixed flame propagation in Hele-Shaw cells. Because of space limitations, only topic (1) is discussed here, emphasizing results from experiments on the recent STS-107 Space Shuttle mission, along with numerical modeling efforts.

  20. Dynamics and Structure of Weakly-Strained Flames In Normal- and Micro-Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, Hai; Vagelopoulos, Christine M.; Egolfopoulos, Fokion N.

    1999-01-01

    Strained laminar flames have been systematically studied, as the understanding of their structure and dynamic behavior is of relevance to turbulent combustion. Most of these studies have been conducted in opposed-jet, stagnation-type flow configurations. Flame studies in stagnation flows also allow for the determination of fundamental flame properties such as laminar flame speeds and extinction states that can be also conveniently modeled in detail. Studies at high strain rates are important in quantifying and understanding the response of vigorously-burning flames under conditions in which the transport time scales become comparable to the chemical time scales. Studies of weakly-strained flames can be of particular interest for all stoichiometries. For example, the laminar flame speeds for any equivalence ratio, phi, can be accurately determined by using the counterflow technique only if measurements are obtained at very low strain rates. Furthermore, near-limit flames can be only stabilized by weak strain rates. Previous studies have shown that weakly-burning flames are particularly sensitive to chain mechanisms, thermal radiation, and unsteadiness. The stabilization and study of weakly-strained flames is complicated by the presence of buoyancy that can render the flames unstable to the point of extinction. Such instabilities are caused either by the induced natural convection or the fact that higher density fluid can find itself on top of a lower density fluid. Thus, the use of microgravity (mu-g) becomes essential in order to provide meaningful insight into this important combustion regime. In view of the foregoing considerations, the main objectives of the program are to: (1) Experimentally determine the laminar flame speed at near-zero strain rates; (2) Experimentally determine the extinction limits of near-limit flames; (3) Experimentally determine the response of near-limit flames to unsteadiness and heat loss; (4) Introduce Digital Particle Image

  1. Markstein Numbers of Negatively-Stretched Premixed Flames: Microgravity Measurements and Computations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibarreta, Alfonso F.; Driscoll, James F.; Feikema, Douglas A.; Salzman, Jack (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The effect of flame stretch, composed of strain and curvature, plays a major role in the propagation of turbulent premixed flames. Although all forms of stretch (positive and negative) are present in turbulent conditions, little research has been focused on the stretch due to curvature. The present study quantifies the Markstein number (which characterizes the sensitivity of the flame propagation speed to the imposed stretch rate) for an inwardly-propagating flame (IPF). This flame is of interest because it is negatively stretched, and is subjected to curvature effects alone, without the competing effects of strain. In an extension of our previous work, microgravity experiments were run using a vortex-flame interaction to create a pocket of reactants surrounded by an IPF. Computations using the RUN-1DL code of Rogg were also performed in order to explain the measurements. It was found that the Markstein number of an inwardly-propagating flame, for both the microgravity experiment and the computations, is significantly larger than that of an outwardly-propagating flame. Further insight was gained by running the computations for the simplified (hypothetical) cases of one step chemistry, unity Lewis number, and negligible heat release. Results provide additional evidence that the Markstein numbers associated with strain and curvature have different values.

  2. Quantitative Species Measurements in Microgravity Combustion Flames using Near-Infrared Diode Lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silver, Joel A.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the physical phenomena controlling the ignition and spread of flames in microgravity has importance for space safety as well as for characterizing dynamical and chemical combustion processes which are normally masked by buoyancy and other gravity-related effects. Unfortunately, combustion is highly complicated by fluid mechanical and chemical kinetic processes, requiring the use of numerical modeling to compare with carefully designed experiments. More sophisticated diagnostic methods are needed to provide the kind of quantitative data necessary to characterize the properties of microgravity combustion as well as provide accurate feedback to improve the predictive capabilities of the models. Diode lasers are a natural choice for use under the severe conditions of low gravity experiments. Reliable, simple solid state operation at low power satisfies the operational restrictions imposed by drop towers, aircraft and space-based studies. Modulation wavelength absorption spectroscopy (WMS) provides a means to make highly sensitive and quantitative measurements of local gas concentration and, in certain cases, temperature. With near-infrared diode lasers, detection of virtually all major combustion species with extremely rapid response time is possible in an inexpensive package. Advancements in near-infrared diode laser fabrication technology and concurrent development of optical fibers for these lasers led to their use in drop towers. Since near-infrared absorption line strengths for overtone and combination vibrational transitions are weaker than the mid-infrared fundamental bands, WMS techniques are applied to increase detection sensitivity and allow measurement of the major combustion gases. In the first microgravity species measurement, Silver et al. mounted a fiber-coupled laser at the top of the NASA 2.2-sec drop tower and piped the light through a single-mode fiber to the drop rig. A fiber splitter divided the light into eight channels that directed

  3. Flame Chemiluminescence Rate Constants for Quantitative Microgravity Combustion Diagnostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luque, Jorge; Smith, Gregory P.; Jeffries, Jay B.; Crosley, David R.; Weiland, Karen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Absolute excited state concentrations of OH(A), CH(A), and C2(d) were determined in three low pressure premixed methane-air flames. Two dimensional images of chemiluminescence from these states were recorded by a filtered CCD camera, processed by Abel inversion, and calibrated against Rayleigh scattering, Using a previously validated 1-D flame model with known chemistry and excited state quenching rate constants, rate constants are extracted for the reactions CH + O2 (goes to) OH(A) + CO and C2H + O (goes to) CH(A) + CO at flame temperatures. Variations of flame emission intensities with stoichiometry agree well with model predictions.

  4. An Experimental Study of the Structure of Turbulent Non-Premixed Jet Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boxx, Isaac; Idicheria, Cherian; Clemens, Noel

    2000-11-01

    The aim of this work is to investigate the structure of transitional and turbulent non-premixed jet flames under microgravity conditions. The microgravity experiments are being conducted using a newly developed drop rig and the University of Texas 1.5 second drop tower. The rig itself measures 16”x33”x38” and contains a co-flowing round jet flame facility, flow control system, CCD camera, and data/image acquisition computer. These experiments are the first phase of a larger study being conducted at the NASA Glenn Research Center 2.2 second drop tower facility. The flames being studied include methane and propane round jet flames at jet exit Reynolds numbers as high as 10,000. The primary diagnostic technique employed is emission imaging of flame luminosity using a relatively high-speed (350 fps) CCD camera. The high-speed images are used to study flame height, flame tip dynamics and burnout characteristics. Results are compared to normal gravity experimental results obtained in the same apparatus.

  5. Mechanisms of combustion limits in premixed gas flames at microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronney, Paul D.

    1991-01-01

    A three-year experimental and theoretical research program on the mechanisms of combustion limits of premixed gasflames at microgravity was conducted. Progress during this program is identified and avenues for future studies are discussed.

  6. Aspects of Cool-Flame Supported Droplet Combustion in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nayagam, Vedha; Dietrich, Daniel L.; Williams, Forman A.

    2015-01-01

    Droplet combustion experiments performed on board the International Space Station have shown that normal-alkane fuels with negative temperature coefficient (NTC) chemistry can support quasi-steady, low-temperature combustion without any visible flame. Here we review the results for n-decane, n-heptane, and n-octane droplets burning in carbon dioxidehelium diluted environments at different pressures and initial droplet sizes. Experimental results for cool-flame burning rates, flame standoff ratios, and extinction diameters are compared against simplified theoretical models of the phenomenon. A simplified quasi-steady model based on the partial-burning regime of Lin predicts the burning rate, and flame standoff ratio reasonably well for all three normal alkanes. The second-stage cool-flame burning and extinction following the first-stage hot-flame combustion, however, shows a small dependence on the initial droplet size, thus deviating from the quasi-steady results. An asymptotic model that estimates the oxygen depletion by the hot flame and its influence on cool-flame burning rates is shown to correct the quasi-steady results and provide a better comparison with the measured burning-rate results.This work was supported by the NASA Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Program and the International Space Station Program.

  7. Characterization of a Laminate Flat Plate Diffusion Flame in Microgravity using PIV, Visible and CH Emissions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joulain, P.; Cordeiro, P.; Torero, J. L.

    2001-01-01

    Motivated by fire safety concerns and the advent of long-term micro-gravity facilities, a cooperative program has been developed to study the mechanisms and material properties that control flow assisted (co-current) flame spread. This program has used as a common fire scenario a reacting steady-state boundary layer. Preliminary studies explored the aerodynamics of a reacting boundary layer by simulating a condensed fuel by means of a gas burner. Stability curves for ethane air flames were obtained and different burning regimes were identified. An important feature of this study was the independent identification of the different mechanisms leading to the instability of the flow. It was observed that fuel injection velocity and thermal expansion independently contributed to the separation of the flow at the leading edge of the burner. The occurrence of separation resulted in complex three-dimensional flow patterns that have a dominant effect on critical fire safety parameters such as the stand-off distance and flame length. This work was extended to a solid fuel (PMMA) leading to a Sounding Rocket experiment (Mini-Texus-6). The solid phase showed similar flow patterns, mostly present at low flow velocities (<100 mm/s) but the results clearly demonstrated that the thermal balance at the pyrolyzing fuel surface is the dominant mechanism that controls both stand-off distance and flame length. This thermal balance could be described in a global manner by means of a total mass transfer or "B" number. This "B" number incorporates surface re-radiation, radiative feedback and in-depth heat conduction as first prescribed by Emmons. The mass transfer number becomes the single parameter that determines the evolution of these fire safety variables (flame length, stand-off distance) and therefore can be used as a ranking criterion to assess the flammability of materials. The particular configuration is representative of the NASA upward flame spread test (Test 1) therefore this

  8. Spherical Ethylene/Air Diffusion Flames Subject to Concentric DC Electric Field in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yuan, Z. -G.; Hegde, U.; Faeth, G. M.

    2001-01-01

    It is well known that microgravity conditions, by eliminating buoyant flow, enable many combustion phenomena to be observed that are not possible to observe at normal gravity. One example is the spherical diffusion flame surrounding a porous spherical burner. The present paper demonstrates that by superimposing a spherical electrical field on such a flame, the flame remains spherical so that we can study the interaction between the electric field and flame in a one-dimensional fashion. Flames are susceptible to electric fields that are much weaker than the breakdown field of the flame gases owing to the presence of ions generated in the high temperature flame reaction zone. These ions and the electric current of the moving ions, in turn, significantly change the distribution of the electric field. Thus, to understand the interplay between the electric field and the flame is challenging. Numerous experimental studies of the effect of electric fields on flames have been reported. Unfortunately, they were all involved in complex geometries of both the flow field and the electric field, which hinders detailed study of the phenomena. In a one-dimensional domain, however, the electric field, the flow field, the thermal field and the chemical species field are all co-linear. Thus the problem is greatly simplified and becomes more tractable.

  9. An Experimental and Computational Study on Soot Formation in a Coflow Jet Flame Under Microgravity and Normal Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ma, Bin; Cao, Su; Giassi, Davide; Stocker, Dennis P.; Takahashi, Fumiaki; Bennett, Beth Anne V.; Smooke, Mitchell D.; Long, Marshall B.

    2014-01-01

    Upon the completion of the Structure and Liftoff in Combustion Experiment (SLICE) in March 2012, a comprehensive and unique set of microgravity coflow diffusion flame data was obtained. This data covers a range of conditions from weak flames near extinction to strong, highly sooting flames, and enabled the study of gravitational effects on phenomena such as liftoff, blowout and soot formation. The microgravity experiment was carried out in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on board the International Space Station (ISS), while the normal gravity experiment was performed at Yale utilizing a copy of the flight hardware. Computational simulations of microgravity and normal gravity flames were also carried out to facilitate understanding of the experimental observations. This paper focuses on the different sooting behaviors of CH4 coflow jet flames in microgravity and normal gravity. The unique set of data serves as an excellent test case for developing more accurate computational models.Experimentally, the flame shape and size, lift-off height, and soot temperature were determined from line-of-sight flame emission images taken with a color digital camera. Soot volume fraction was determined by performing an absolute light calibration using the incandescence from a flame-heated thermocouple. Computationally, the MC-Smooth vorticity-velocity formulation was employed to describe the chemically reacting flow, and the soot evolution was modeled by the sectional aerosol equations. The governing equations and boundary conditions were discretized on an axisymmetric computational domain by finite differences, and the resulting system of fully coupled, highly nonlinear equations was solved by a damped, modified Newtons method. The microgravity sooting flames were found to have lower soot temperatures and higher volume fraction than their normal gravity counterparts. The soot distribution tends to shift from the centerline of the flame to the wings from normal gravity to

  10. Quantitative Measurements of Electronically Excited CH Concentration in Normal Gravity and Microgravity Coflow Laminar Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giassi, D.; Cao, S.; Stocker, D. P.; Takahashi, F.; Bennett, B. A. V.; Smooke, M. D.; Long, M. B.

    2015-01-01

    With the conclusion of the SLICE campaign aboard the ISS in 2012, a large amount of data was made available for the analysis of the effect of microgravity on laminar coflow diffusion flames. Previous work focused on the study of sooty flames in microgravity as well as the ability of numerical models to predict its formation in a simplified buoyancy-free environment. The current work shifts the investigation to soot-free flames, putting an emphasis on the chemiluminescence emission from electronically excited CH (CH*). This radical species is of significant interest in combustion studies: it has been shown that the electronically excited CH spatial distribution is indicative of the flame front position and, given the relatively simple diagnostic involved with its measurement, several works have been done trying to understand the ability of electronically excited CH chemiluminescence to predict the total and local flame heat release rate. In this work, a subset of the SLICE nitrogen-diluted methane flames has been considered, and the effect of fuel and coflow velocity on electronically excited CH concentration is discussed and compared with both normal gravity results and numerical simulations. Experimentally, the spectral characterization of the DSLR color camera used to acquire the flame images allowed the signal collected by the blue channel to be considered representative of the electronically excited CH emission centered around 431 nm. Due to the axisymmetric flame structure, an Abel deconvolution of the line-of-sight chemiluminescence was used to obtain the radial intensity profile and, thanks to an absolute light intensity calibration, a quantification of the electronically excited CH concentration was possible. Results show that, in microgravity, the maximum flame electronically excited CH concentration increases with the coflow velocity, but it is weakly dependent on the fuel velocity; normal gravity flames, if not lifted, tend to follow the same trend

  11. Observations of Methane and Ethylene Diffusion Flames Stabilized Around a Blowing Porous Sphere Under Microgravity Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atreya, Arvind; Agrawal, Sanjay; Sacksteder, Kurt; Baum, Howard R.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents the experimental and theoretical results for expanding methane and ethylene diffusion flames in microgravity. A small porous sphere made from a low-density and low-heat-capacity insulating material was used to uniformly supply fuel at a constant rate to the expanding diffusion flame. A theoretical model which includes soot and gas radiation is formulated but only the problem pertaining to the transient expansion of the flame is solved by assuming constant pressure infinitely fast one-step ideal gas reaction and unity Lewis number. This is a first step toward quantifying the effect of soot and gas radiation on these flames. The theoretically calculated expansion rate is in good agreement with the experimental results. Both experimental and theoretical results show that as the flame radius increases, the flame expansion process becomes diffusion controlled and the flame radius grows as gamma t. Theoretical calculations also show that for a constant fuel mass injection rate a quasi-steady state is developed in the region surrounded by the flame and the mass flow rate at any location inside this region equals the mass injection rate.

  12. Quantitative species measurements in microgravity flames with near-IR diode lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silver, Joel A.; Kane, Daniel J.; Greenberg, Paul S.

    1995-05-01

    Absolute concentrations of water vapor are measured in microgravity ( mu -g), nonpremixed methane, and propane jet flames with diode-laser wavelength modulation spectroscopy. These experiments are performed in the 2.2-s mu -g drop facility at the NASA Lewis Research Center. Abel inversion methods are used to determine time-dependent radial profiles from eight line-of-sight projections across the flames. At all measured heights above the nozzle, water vapor spatial distributions in mu -g flames are much wider than their 1-g counterparts. Radial growth of the water signal continues throughout the drop, verifying earlier suggestions that a steady state is not reached during the duration of the test, despite a quasi-steady flame shape. Large amounts of water vapor are observed at larger radii, at odds with visual (video) observations and numerical predictions.

  13. Soot Aerosol Properties in Laminar Soot-Emitting Microgravity Nonpremixed Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konsur, Bogdan; Megaridis, Constantine M.; Griffin, Devon W.

    1999-01-01

    The spatial distributions and morphological properties of the soot aerosol are examined experimentally in a series of 0-g laminar gas-jet nonpremixed flames. The methodology deploys round jet diffusion flames of nitrogen-diluted acetylene fuel burning in quiescent air at atmospheric pressure. Full-field laser-light extinction is utilized to determine transient soot spatial distributions within the flames. Thermophoretic sampling is employed in conjunction with transmission electron microscopy to define soot microstructure within the soot-emitting 0-g flames. The microgravity tests indicate that the 0-g flames attain a quasi-steady state roughly 0.7 s after ignition, and sustain their annular structure even beyond their luminous flame tip. The measured peak soot volume fractions show a complex dependence on burner exit conditions, and decrease in a nonlinear fashion with decreasing characteristic flow residence times. Fuel preheat by approximately 140 K appears to accelerate the formation of soot near the flame axis via enhanced fuel pyrolysis rates. The increased soot presence caused by the elevated fuel injection temperatures triggers higher flame radiative losses, which may account for the premature suppression of soot growth observed along the annular region of preheated-fuel flames. Electron micrographs of soot aggregates collected in 0-g reveal the presence of soot precursor particles near the symmetry axis at midflame height, The observations also verify that soot primary particle sizes are nearly uniform among aggregates present at the same flame location, but vary considerably with radius at a fixed distance from the burner. The maximum primary size in 0-g is found to be by 40% larger than in 1-g, under the same burner exit conditions. Estimates of the number concentration of primary particles and surface area of soot particulate phase per unit volume of the combustion gases are also made for selected in-flame locations.

  14. Water Mist Interaction with Flame Spreading Against Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Chenthil; Kumar, Amit

    2010-11-01

    Water mist fire-suppression systems have gained importance since chemical agents like Halons are being phased out for environment preservation. The present study focuses on the effect of water mist droplet size and concentration in inhibiting the flame spreading downward over thin solid fuel at different gravity levels. The water droplets are introduced into the air stream at pre-specified concentration and droplet size. An Eulerian-Eulerian two phase model is used for this particular study. The polydisperse spray is modeled using the moments of the droplet size distribution function. The gas phase is modeled by full Navier-Stokes equations for laminar flow along with the conservation equations of mass, energy & species. A one-step Arrhenius reaction between fuel vapor and oxygen is assumed. The gas radiation equation is solved using DOM. The solid fuel considered is assumed to burn ideally to form fuel vapors without melting. The thin solid fuel is modeled by equations of continuity and energy. The pyrolysis of fuel is modeled as one-step, zeroth-order Arrhenius kinetics. For the dilute sprays, droplet sizes below 100μm are increasingly effective in reducing the flame temperature.

  15. Numerical Simulation of an Enclosed Laminar Jet Diffusion Flame in Microgravity Environment: Comparison with ELF Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jia, Kezhong; Venuturumilli, Rajasekhar; Ryan, Brandon J.; Chen, Lea-Der

    2001-01-01

    been some research on the stability of laminar flames, but most studies have focused on turbulent flames. It is also well known that the airflow around the fuel jet can significantly alter the lift off, reattachment and blow out of the jet diffusion flame. Buoyant convection is sufficiently strong in 1-g flames that it can dominate the flow-field, even at the burner rim. In normal-gravity testing, it is very difficult to delineate the effects of the forced airflow from those of the buoyancy-induced flow. Comparison of normal-gravity and microgravity flames provides clear indication of the influence of forced and buoyant flows on the flame stability. The overall goal of the Enclosed Laminar Flames (ELF) investigation (STS-87/USMP-4 Space Shuttle mission, November to December 1997) is to improve our understanding of the effects of buoyant convection on the structure and stability of co-flow diffusion flame, e.g., see http://zeta.lerc.nasa.gov/expr/elf.htm. The ELF hardware meets the experiment hardware limit of the 35-liter interior volume of the glovebox working area, and the 180x220-mm dimensions of the main door. The ELF experiment module is a miniature, fan-driven wind tunnel, equipped with a gas supply system. A 1.5-mm diameter nozzle is located on the duct's flow axis. The cross section of the duct is nominally a 76-mm square with rounded corners. The forced air velocity can be varied from about 0.2 to 0.9 m/s. The fuel flow can be set as high as 3 std. cubic centimeter (cc) per second, which corresponds to a nozzle exit velocity of up to 1.70 m/s. The ELF hardware and experimental procedure are discussed in detail in Brooker et al. The 1-g test results are repeated in several experiments following the STS-87 Mission. The ELF study is also relevant to practical systems because the momentum-dominated behavior of turbulent flames can be achieved in laminar flames in microgravity. The specific objectives of this paper are to evaluate the use reduced model for

  16. Three-Dimensional Upward Flame Spreading in Partial-Gravity Buoyant Flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sacksteder, Kurt R.; Feier, Ioan I.; Shih, Hsin-Yi; T'ien, James S.

    2001-01-01

    Reduced-gravity environments have been used to establish low-speed, purely forced flows for both opposed- and concurrent-flow flame spread studies. Altenkirch's group obtained spacebased experimental results and developed unsteady, two-dimensional numerical simulations of opposed-flow flame spread including gas-phase radiation, primarily away from the flammability limit for thin fuels, but including observations of thick fuel quenching in quiescent environments. T'ien's group contributed some early flame spreading results for thin fuels both in opposed flow and concurrent flow regimes, with more focus on near-limit conditions. T'ien's group also developed two- and three-dimensional numerical simulations of concurrent-flow flame spread incorporating gas-phase radiative models, including predictions of a radiatively-induced quenching limit reached in very low-speed air flows. Radiative quenching has been subsequently observed in other studies of combustion in very low-speed flows including other flame spread investigations, droplet combustion and homogeneous diffusion flames, and is the subject of several contemporary studies reported in this workshop. Using NASA aircraft flying partial-gravity "parabolic" trajectories, flame spreading in purely buoyant, opposed-flow (downward burning) has been studied. These results indicated increases in flame spread rates and enhanced flammability (lower limiting atmospheric oxygen content) as gravity levels were reduced from normal Earth gravity, and were consistent with earlier data obtained by Altenkirch using a centrifuge. In this work, experimental results and a three-dimensional numerical simulation of upward flame spreading in variable partial-gravity environments were obtained including some effects of reduced pressure and variable sample width. The simulation provides physical insight for interpreting the experimental results and shows the intrinsic 3-D nature of buoyant, upward flame spreading. This study is intended to

  17. An innovative approach to the development of a portable unit for analytical flame characterization in a microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dubinskiy, Mark A.; Kamal, Mohammed M.; Misra, Prabhaker

    1995-01-01

    The availability of manned laboratory facilities in space offers wonderful opportunities and challenges in microgravity combustion science and technology. In turn, the fundamentals of microgravity combustion science can be studied via spectroscopic characterization of free radicals generated in flames. The laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) technique is a noninvasive method of considerable utility in combustion physics and chemistry suitable for monitoring not only specific species and their kinetics, but it is also important for imaging of flames. This makes LIF one of the most important tools for microgravity combustion science. Flame characterization under microgravity conditions using LIF is expected to be more informative than other methods aimed at searching for effects like pumping phenomenon that can be modeled via ground level experiments. A primary goal of our work consisted in working out an innovative approach to devising an LIF-based analytical unit suitable for in-space flame characterization. It was decided to follow two approaches in tandem: (1) use the existing laboratory (non-portable) equipment and determine the optimal set of parameters for flames that can be used as analytical criteria for flame characterization under microgravity conditions; and (2) use state-of-the-art developments in laser technology and concentrate some effort in devising a layout for the portable analytical equipment. This paper presents an up-to-date summary of the results of our experiments aimed at the creation of the portable device for combustion studies in a microgravity environment, which is based on a portable UV tunable solid-state laser for excitation of free radicals normally present in flames in detectable amounts. A systematic approach has allowed us to make a convenient choice of species under investigation, as well as the proper tunable laser system, and also enabled us to carry out LIF experiments on free radicals using a solid-state laser tunable in the UV.

  18. Flame Spread and Damaged Properties of RCD Cases by Tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Chung-Seog; Kim, Hyang-Kon; Shong, Kil-Mok; Kim, Dong-Woo

    In this paper, the flame spread and damaged properties of residual current protective devices (RCDs) by tracking were analyzed. Pictures of tracking process were taken by High Speed Imaging System (HSIS), and fire progression was observed by timeframe. During the tracking process of RCD, it seemed to explode just once in appearance, but in the results of HSIS analysis, a small fire broke out and disappeared repeatedly 35 times and a flash of light repeated 15 times. Finally, an explosion with a flash of light occurred and lots of particles were scattered. Electric muffle furnace was used for heat treatment of RCD cases. The surface characteristics of specimens due to heat treatment and tracking deterioration were taken by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Chemical and thermal properties of these deteriorated specimens were analyzed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR) and Differential Thermal Analyzer (DTA). The carbonization characteristics showed different chemical properties due to energy sources, and the results could be applicable to judge the accident causes.

  19. Microgravity Apparatus And Ground-Based Study Of The Flame Propagation And Quenching In Metal Dust Suspensions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goroshin, Sam; Kolbe, Massimilliano; Bellerose, Julie; Lee, John

    2003-01-01

    Due to particle sedimentation and relatively low laminar flame speeds in dust suspensions, microgravity environment is essential for the observation of laminar dust flames in a wide range of particle sizes and fuel concentrations [1]. The capability of a reduced-gravity environment to facilitate study of dust combustion was realized by researchers long before current microgravity programs were established by the various national Space Agencies. Thus, several experimentalists even built their own, albeit very short-duration, drop tower facilities to study flames in particle and droplet suspensions [2,3]. About ten years ago, authors of the present paper started their dust combustion reduced gravity research with the investigation of the constant volume dust flames in a spherical-bomb on board a parabolic flight aircraft [4]. However it was soon realized that direct observation of the constant-pressure flame might be more beneficial. Thus, microgravity apparatus, permitting examination of the freely propagating flames in open-end tubes, was tested in parabolic flights three years later [5]. The improved design of the newlyconstructed apparatus for the experiments on board the NASA KC-135 aircraft is also based on the observation of the dust flame propagating in semi-opened tubes with free expansion of the combustion products that are continuously vented overboard. The apparatus design and results of its extensive ground-based testing are presented below.

  20. Measurements and Modeling of Soot Formation and Radiation in Microgravity Jet Diffusion Flames. Volume 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ku, Jerry C.; Tong, Li; Greenberg, Paul S.

    1996-01-01

    This is a computational and experimental study for soot formation and radiative heat transfer in jet diffusion flames under normal gravity (1-g) and microgravity (0-g) conditions. Instantaneous soot volume fraction maps are measured using a full-field imaging absorption technique developed by the authors. A compact, self-contained drop rig is used for microgravity experiments in the 2.2-second drop tower facility at NASA Lewis Research Center. On modeling, we have coupled flame structure and soot formation models with detailed radiation transfer calculations. Favre-averaged boundary layer equations with a k-e-g turbulence model are used to predict the flow field, and a conserved scalar approach with an assumed Beta-pdf are used to predict gaseous species mole fraction. Scalar transport equations are used to describe soot volume fraction and number density distributions, with formation and oxidation terms modeled by one-step rate equations and thermophoretic effects included. An energy equation is included to couple flame structure and radiation analyses through iterations, neglecting turbulence-radiation interactions. The YIX solution for a finite cylindrical enclosure is used for radiative heat transfer calculations. The spectral absorption coefficient for soot aggregates is calculated from the Rayleigh solution using complex refractive index data from a Drude- Lorentz model. The exponential-wide-band model is used to calculate the spectral absorption coefficient for H20 and C02. It is shown that when compared to results from true spectral integration, the Rosseland mean absorption coefficient can provide reasonably accurate predictions for the type of flames studied. The soot formation model proposed by Moss, Syed, and Stewart seems to produce better fits to experimental data and more physically sound than the simpler model by Khan et al. Predicted soot volume fraction and temperature results agree well with published data for a normal gravity co-flow laminar

  1. A Study of Flame Propagation on Water-Mist Laden Gas Mixtures in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbud-Madrid, A.; Riedel, E. P.; McKinnon, J. T.

    1999-01-01

    concentration and alters the droplet size by coalescence and agglomeration mechanisms. Experiments conducted in the absence of gravity provide an ideal environment to study the interaction of water mists and flames by eliminating these distorting effects. In addition, microgravity eliminates the complex flow patterns induced between the flame front and the water droplets. The long duration and quality of microgravity in space flights provide the required conditions to perform the setup and monitoring of flame suppression experiments. Consequently, a series of experiments have been identified to be performed on the Combustion Module (CM-2) in the Space Shuttle. These consist of measuring the extinguishing capability of a water mist on a premixed flame propagating along a tube. These experiments should provide the necessary data to obtain further understanding of the water mist suppression phenomena that can be later used to design and manufacture appropriate fire suppression systems. In preparation for the orbital flights, experiments have been conducted on low-gravity ground facilities to obtain the preliminary data necessary to define the scientific objectives and technical issues of the spacecraft experiments.

  2. Two different approaches for creating a prescribed opposed-flow velocity field for flame spread experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmignani, Luca; Celniker, Greg; Bussett, Kyle; Paolini, Christopher; Bhattacharjee, Subrata

    2015-05-01

    Opposed-flow flame spread over solid fuels is a fundamental area of research in fire science. Typically combustion wind tunnels are used to generate the opposing flow of oxidizer against which a laminar flame spread occurs along the fuel samples. The spreading flame is generally embedded in a laminar boundary layer, which interacts with the strong buoyancy-induced flow to affect the mechanism of flame spread. In this work, two different approaches for creating the opposed-flow are compared. In the first approach, a vertical combustion tunnel is used where a thin fuel sample, thin acrylic or ashless filter paper, is held vertically along the axis of the test-section with the airflow controlled by controlling the duty cycles of four fans. As the sample is ignited, a flame spreads downward in a steady manner along a developing boundary layer. In the second approach, the sample is held in a movable cart placed in an eight-meter tall vertical chamber filled with air. As the sample is ignited, the cart is moved downward (through a remote-controlled mechanism) at a prescribed velocity. The results from the two approaches are compared to establish the boundary layer effect on flame spread over thin fuels.

  3. Imposed Radiation Effects on Flame Spread over Black PMMA in Low Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, S. L.; Hegde, U.

    1994-01-01

    The objective of this work is to determine the effect of varying imposed radiation levels on the flame spread and burning characteristics of PMMA in low gravity. The NASA Learjet is used for these experiments; it provides an environment of 10(exp -2) g's for approximately 20 seconds. Flame spread rates are found to increase non-linearly with increased external radiant flux over the range studied. This range of imposed flux values is believed to be sufficient to compensate for the radiative loss from the flame and the surface.

  4. Laminar Dust Flames: A Program of Microgravity and Ground Based Studies at McGill

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goroshin, Sam; Lee, John

    1999-01-01

    Fundamental knowledge of heterogeneous combustion mechanisms is required to improve utilization of solid fuels (e.g. coal), safe handling of combustible dusts in industry, and solid propulsion systems. The objective of the McGill University research program on dust combustion is to obtain a reliable set of data on basic combustion parameters for dust suspensions (i.e. laminar burning velocity, flame structure, quenching distance, flammability limits, etc.) over a range of particle sizes, dust concentrations, and types of fuel. This set of data then permits theoretical models to be validated and, when necessary, new models to be developed to describe the detailed reaction mechanisms and transport processes. Microgravity is essential to the generation of a uniform dust suspension of arbitrary particle size and concentration. When particles with a characteristic size on the order of tens of microns are suspended, they rapidly settle in a gravitational field. To maintain a particulate in suspension for time duration adequate to carry out combustion experiments invariably requires continuous convective flow in excess of the gravitational settling velocity (which is comparable with and can even exceed the dust laminar burning velocity). This makes the experiments turbulent in nature and thus renders it impossible to study laminar dust flames. Even for small particle sizes on the order of microns, a stable laminar dust flow can be maintained only for relatively low dust concentrations at normal gravity conditions. High dust loading leads to gravitational instability of the dust cloud and to the formation of recirculation cells in the dust suspension in a confined volume, or to the rapid sedimentation of the dense dust cloud, as a whole, in an unconfined volume. Many important solid fuels such as carbon and boron also have low laminar flame speeds (of the order of several centimeters per second). Convection that occurs in combustion products due to buoyancy disrupts the

  5. Understanding Material Property Impacts on Co-Current Flame Spread: Improving Understanding Crucial for Fire Safety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruff, Gary (Technical Monitor); Rangwala, Ali S.; Buckley, Steven G.; Torero, Jose L.

    2004-01-01

    The prospect of long-term manned space flight brings fresh urgency to the development of an integrated and fundamental approach to the study of material flammability. Currently, NASA uses two tests, the upward flame propagation test and heat and visible smoke release rate test, to assess the flammability properties of materials to be used in space under microgravity conditions. The upward flame propagation test can be considered in the context of the 2-D analysis of Emmons. This solution incorporates material properties by a "mass transfer number", B in the boundary conditions.

  6. A model of concurrent flow flame spread over a thin solid fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferkul, Paul V.

    1993-01-01

    A numerical model is developed to examine laminar flame spread and extinction over a thin solid fuel in lowspeed concurrent flows. The model provides a more precise fluid-mechanical description of the flame by incorporating an elliptic treatment of the upstream flame stabilization zone near the fuel burnout point. Parabolic equations are used to treat the downstream flame, which has a higher flow Reynolds number. The parabolic and elliptic regions are coupled smoothly by an appropriate matching of boundary conditions. The solid phase consists of an energy equation with surface radiative loss and a surface pyrolysis relation. Steady spread with constant flame and pyrolysis lengths is found possible for thin fuels and this facilitates the adoption of a moving coordinate system attached to the flame with the flame spread rate being an eigen value. Calculations are performed in purely forced flow in a range of velocities which are lower than those induced in a normal gravity buoyant environment. Both quenching and blowoff extinction are observed. The results show that as flow velocity or oxygen percentage is reduced, the flame spread rate, the pyrolysis length, and the flame length all decrease, as expected. The flame standoff distance from the solid and the reaction zone thickness, however, first increase with decreasing flow velocity, but eventually decrease very near the quenching extinction limit. The short, diffuse flames observed at low flow velocities and oxygen levels are consistent with available experimental data. The maximum flame temperature decreases slowly at first as flow velocity is reduced, then falls more steeply close to the quenching extinction limit. Low velocity quenching occurs as a result of heat loss. At low velocities, surface radiative loss becomes a significant fraction of the total combustion heat release. In addition, the shorter flame length causes an increase in the fraction of conduction downstream compared to conduction to the fuel

  7. Temperature Field During Flame Spread over Alcohol Pools: Measurements and Modelling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Fletcher J.; Ross, Howard D.; Schiller, David N.

    1994-01-01

    A principal difference between flame spread over solid fuels and over liquid fuels is, in the latter case, the presence of liquid-phase convection ahead of the leading edge of the flame. The details of the fluid dynamics and heat transfer mechanisms in both the pulsating and uniform flame spread regimes were heavily debated, without resolution, in the 1960s and 1970s; recently, research on flame spread over pools was reinvigorated by the advent of enhanced diagnostic techniques and computational power. Temperature fields in the liquid, which enable determination of the extent of preheating ahead of the flame, were determined previously by the use of thermocouples and repetitive tests, and suggested that the surface temperature does not decrease monotonically ahead of the pulsating flame front, but that there exists a surface temperature valley. Recent predictions support this suggestion. However, others' thermocouple measurements and the recent field measurements using Holographic Interferometry (HI) did not find a similar valley. In this work we examine the temperature field using Rainbow Schlieren Deflectometry (RSD), with a measurement threshold exceeding that of conventional interferometry by a factor of 20:1, for uniform and pulsating flame spread using propanol and butanol as fuels. This technique was not applied before to flame spread over liquid pools, except in some preliminary measurements reported earlier. Noting that HI is sensitive to the refractive index while RSD responds to refractive index gradients, and that these two techniques might therefore be difficult to compare, we utilized a numerical simulation, described below, to predict and compare both types of field for the uniform and pulsating spread regimes. The experimental data also allows a validation of the model at a level of detail greater than has been attempted before.

  8. Laser-Induced Incandescence in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanderWal, Randall L.

    1997-01-01

    Microgravity offers unique opportunities for studying both soot growth and the effect of soot radiation upon flame structure and spread. LII has been characterized and developed at NASA-Lewis for soot volume fraction determination in a wide range of 1-g combustion applications. Reported here are the first demonstrations of LII performed in a microgravity environment. Examples are shown for laminar and turbulent gas-jet diffusion flames in 0-g.

  9. Self Induced Buoyant Blow Off in Upward Flame Spread on Thin Solid Fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Michael C.; T'ien, James S.; Muff, Derek E.; Olson, Sandra L.; Ferkul, Paul V.

    2013-01-01

    Upward flame spread experiments were conducted on a thin fabric cloth consisting of 75% cotton and 25% fiberglass. The sample is sandwiched symmetrically with stainless steel plates with the exposed width varying between 2 to 8.8 cm from test to test and >1.5m tall. The bottom edge was ignited resulting in a symmetric two sided flame. For the narrower samples (. 5cm), two sided flame growth would proceed until reaching some limiting value (15-30 cm depending on sample width). Fluctuation or instability of the flame base on one side would initially become visible and then the flame base would retreat downstream and cause extinguishment on one side. Detailed examination of the still images shows that the fuel continues to vaporize from the extinguished side due to the thermally thin nature of the fuel. But, due to the remaining inert fiberglass mesh, which acts as a flashback arrestor, the extinguished side was not able to be reignited by the remaining flame. The remaining flame would then shrink in length due to the reduced heat transfer to the solid to a shorter length. The one-sided flame will spread stably with a constant speed and a constant flame length to the end of the sample. A constant length flame implies that the pyrolysis front and the burnt out fronts move at the same speed. For the wider samples (. 7cm), no one-sided extinction is observed. Two-sided flames spread all the way to the top of the sample. For these wider widths, the flames are still growing and have not reached their limiting length if it exists. Care was taken to minimize the amount of non-symmetries in the experimental configuration. Repeated tests show that blow-off can occur on either side of the sample. The flame growth is observed to be very symmetric during the growth phase and grew to significant length (>10cm) before extinction of the flame on one side. Our proposed explanation of this unusual phenomenon (i.e. stronger two ]sided flame cannot exist but weaker one-sided flame can

  10. Quantitative Studies on the Propagation and Extinction of Near-Limit Premixed Flames under Normal- and Micro-gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Egolfopoulos, F. N.; Dong, Y.; Spedding, G.; Cuenot, B.; Poinsot, T.

    2001-01-01

    Strained laminar flames have been systematically studied, as the understanding of their structure and dynamic behavior is of relevance to turbulent combustion.. Most of these studies have been conducted in opposed-jet, stagnation-type flow configurations. Studies at high strain rates are important in quantifying and understanding the response of vigorously burning flames and determine extinction states. Studies of weakly strained flames can be of particular interest for all stoichiometries. For example, the laminar flame speeds, S(sup o)(sub u), can be accurately determined by using the counterflow technique only if measurements are obtained at very low strain rates. Furthermore, near-limit flames are stabilized by weak strain rates. Previous studies have shown that near-limit flames are particularly sensitive to chain mechanisms, thermal radiation, and unsteadiness. The stabilization and study of weakly strained flames is complicated by the presence of buoyancy that can render the flames unstable to the point of extinction. Thus, the use of microgravity (mu-g) becomes essential in order to provide meaningful insight into this important combustion regime. In our past studies the laminar flame speeds and extinction strain rates were directly measured at ultra-low strain rates. The laminar flame speeds were measured by having a positively strained planar flame undergoing a transition to a negatively strained Bunsen flame and by measuring the propagation speed during that transition. The extinction strain rates of near-limit flames were measured in mu-g. Results obtained for CH4/air and C3H8/air mixtures are in agreement with those obtained by Maruta et al.

  11. Effects of soot formation on shape of a nonpremixed laminar flame established in a shear boundary layer in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Y Wang, H.; Merino, J. L. F.; Dagaut, P.

    2011-12-01

    A numerical study was performed to give a quantitative description of a heavily sooting, nonpremixed laminar flame established in a shear boundary layer in microgravity. Controlling mechanisms of three dimensional flow, combustion, soot and radiation are coupled. Soot volume fraction were predicted by using three approaches, referred respectively to as the fuel, acetylene and PAH inception models. It is found that the PAH inception model, which is based on the formation of two and three-ringed aromatic species, reproduces correctly the experimental data from a laminar ethylene diffusion flame. The PAH inception model serves later to better understand flame quenching, flame stand-off distance and soot formation as a function of the dimensionless volume coefficient, defined as Cq = VF/Vox where VF is the fuel injection velocity, and Vox air stream velocity. The present experiments showed that a blue unstable flame, negligible radiative feedback, may change to a yellow stable flame, significant radiative loss with an increase of Cq; this experimental trend was numerically reproduced. The flame quenching occurs at the trailing edge due to radiative heat loss which is significantly amplified by increasing VF or decreasing Vox, favouring soot formation. Along a semi-infinite fuel zone, the ratio, df/db, where df is the flame standoff distance, and db the boundary layer thickness, converges towards a constant value of 1.2, while soot resides always within the boundary layer far away from the flame sheet.

  12. Sooting Limits Of Microgravity Spherical Diffusion Flames. [conducted in the NASA Glenn 2.2-second drop tower

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sunderland, P. B.; Urban, D. L.; Stocker, D. P.; Chao, B.-H.; Axelbaum, Richard L.; Salzman, Jack (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Limiting conditions for soot-particle inception were studied in microgravity spherical diffusion flames burning ethylene at atmospheric pressure. Nitrogen was supplied in the fuel and/or oxidizer to obtain the broadest range of stoichiometric mixture fraction. Both normal flames (oxygen in ambience) and inverted flames (fuel in ambience) were considered. Microgravity was obtained in the NASA Glenn 2.2-second drop tower. The flames were observed with a color video camera and sooting conditions were defined as conditions for which yellow emission was present throughout the duration of the drop. Sooting limit results were successfully correlated in terms of adiabatic flame temperature and stoichiometric mixture fraction. Soot free conditions were favored by increased stoichiometric mixture fractions. No statistically significant effect of convection direction on sooting limits was observed. The relationship between adiabatic flame temperature and stoichiometric mixture fraction at the sooting limits was found to be in qualitative agreement with a simple theory based on the assumption that soot inception can occur only where temperature and local C/O ratio exceed threshold values (circa 1250 K and 1, respectively).

  13. Combustion Characteristics in a Non-Premixed Cool-Flame Regime of n-Heptane in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takahashi, Fumiaki; Katta, Viswanath R.; Hicks, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    A series of distinct phenomena have recently been observed in single-fuel-droplet combustion tests performed on the International Space Station (ISS). This study attempts to simulate the observed flame behavior numerically using a gaseous n-heptane fuel source in zero gravity and a time-dependent axisymmetric (2D) code, which includes a detailed reaction mechanism (127 species and 1130 reactions), diffusive transport, and a radiation model (for CH4, CO, CO2, H2O, and soot). The calculated combustion characteristics depend strongly on the air velocity around the fuel source. In a near-quiescent air environment (< or = 2 mm/s), with a sufficiently large fuel injection velocity (1 cm/s), a growing spherical diffusion flame extinguishes at ˜1200 K due to radiative heat losses. This is typically followed by a transition to the low-temperature (cool-flame) regime with a reaction zone (at ˜700 K) in close proximity to the fuel source. The 'cool flame' regime is formed due to the negative temperature coefficient in the low-temperature chemistry. After a relatively long period (˜18 s) of the cool flame regime, a flash re-ignition occurs, associated with flame-edge propagation and subsequent extinction of the re-ignited flame. In a low-speed (˜3 mm/s) airstream (which simulates the slight droplet movement), the diffusion flame is enhanced upstream and experiences a local extinction downstream at ˜1200 K, followed by steady flame pulsations (˜0.4 Hz). At higher air velocities (4-10 mm/s), the locally extinguished flame becomes steady state. The present axisymmetric computational approach helps in revealing the non-premixed 'cool flame' structure and 2D flame-flow interactions observed in recent microgravity droplet combustion experiments.

  14. Evidence of thermonuclear flame spreading on neutron stars from burst rise oscillations

    SciTech Connect

    Chakraborty, Manoneeta; Bhattacharyya, Sudip E-mail: sudip@tifr.res.in

    2014-09-01

    Burst oscillations during the rising phases of thermonuclear X-ray bursts are usually believed to originate from flame spreading on the neutron star surface. However, the decrease of fractional oscillation amplitude with rise time, which provides a main observational support for the flame spreading model, have so far been reported from only a few bursts. Moreover, the non-detection and intermittent detections of rise oscillations from many bursts are not yet understood considering the flame spreading scenario. Here, we report the decreasing trend of fractional oscillation amplitude from an extensive analysis of a large sample of Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array bursts from 10 neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries. This trend is 99.99% significant for the best case, which provides, to the best of our knowledge, by far the strongest evidence of such a trend. Moreover, it is important to note that an opposite trend is not found in any of the bursts. The concave shape of the fractional amplitude profiles for all the bursts suggests latitude-dependent flame speeds, possibly due to the effects of the Coriolis force. We also systematically study the roles of low fractional amplitude and low count rate for non-detection and intermittent detections of rise oscillations, and attempt to understand them within the flame spreading scenario. Our results support a weak turbulent viscosity for flame spreading, and imply that burst rise oscillations originate from an expanding hot spot, thus making these oscillations a more reliable tool to constrain the neutron star equations of state.

  15. Material Properties Governing Co-Current Flame Spread: The Effect of Air Entrainment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coutin, Mickael; Rangwala, Ali S.; Torero, Jose L.; Buckley, Steven G.

    2003-01-01

    A study on the effects of lateral air entrainment on an upward spreading flame has been conducted. The fuel is a flat PMMA plate of constant length and thickness but variable width. Video images and surface temperatures have allowed establishing the progression of the pyrolyis front and on the flame stand-off distance. These measurements have been incorporated into a theoretical formulation to establish characteristic mass transfer numbers ("B" numbers). The mass transfer number is deemed as a material related parameter that could be used to assess the potential of a material to sustain co-current flame spread. The experimental results show that the theoretical formulation fails to describe heat exchange between the flame and the surface. The discrepancies seem to be associated to lateral air entrainment that lifts the flame off the surface and leads to an over estimation of the local mass transfer number. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements are in the process of being acquired. These measurements are intended to provide insight on the effect of air entrainment on the flame stand-off distance. A brief description of the methodology to be followed is presented here.

  16. Effects of pressure, oxygen concentration, and forced convection on flame spread rate of Plexiglas, Nylon and Teflon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Notardonato, J. J.; Burkhardt, L. A.; Cochran, T. H.

    1974-01-01

    Experiments were conducted in which the burning of cylindrical materials in a flowing oxidant stream was studied. Plexiglas, Nylon, and Teflon fuel specimens were oriented such that the flames spread along the surface in a direction opposed to flowing gas. Correlations of flame spread rate were obtained that were power law relations in terms of pressure, oxygen concentration, and gas velocity.

  17. 24 CFR 3280.203 - Flame spread limitations and fire protection requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ...) Exposed interior finishes adjacent to the cooking range shall have a flame spread rating not exceeding 50... horizontal inches of the cooking range. (Refer also to § 3280.204(a), Kitchen Cabinet Protection.) Sealants... cooking range (see § 3280.203(b)(4)); (ii) Exposed bottoms and sides of kitchen cabinets as required...

  18. 24 CFR 3280.203 - Flame spread limitations and fire protection requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ...) Exposed interior finishes adjacent to the cooking range shall have a flame spread rating not exceeding 50... horizontal inches of the cooking range. (Refer also to § 3280.204(a), Kitchen Cabinet Protection.) Sealants... cooking range (see § 3280.203(b)(4)); (ii) Exposed bottoms and sides of kitchen cabinets as required...

  19. Experimental study on thermophoretic deposition of soot particles in laminar diffusion flames along a solid wall in microgravity

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Jae-Hyuk; Chung, Suk Ho; Fujita, Osamu; Tsuiki, Takafumi; Kim, Junhong

    2008-09-15

    Soot deposition process in diffusion flames along a solid wall has been investigated experimentally under a microgravity environment. An ethylene (C{sub 2}H{sub 4}) diffusion flame was formed around a cylindrical rod-burner with the surrounding air velocities of V{sub a} = 2.5, 5, and 10 cm/s, the oxygen concentration of 35%, and the burner wall temperature of 300 K. A laser extinction method was adopted to measure the distribution of soot volume fraction. The experiments determined the trace of maximum soot concentration together with the relative distance of the trace of flame. Results showed that the distance was about 2-5 mm. As the surrounding air velocity increased, the region of the soot particle distribution moved closer to the burner wall. The soot particles near the flame zone tended to move away from the flame zone because of the thermophoretic force and to concentrate at a certain narrow region inside the flame. Because of the simultaneous effects of convection and the thermophoresis, soot particles finally adhered to the burner wall. It has been found that there existed an optimal air velocity for the early deposition of soot on the furnace wall. (author)

  20. Automated infrared imaging temperature measurement with application to upward flame spread studies. Part I

    SciTech Connect

    Arakawa, A.; Saito, K.; Gruver, W.A. . Dept. of Physics)

    1993-02-01

    This article describes a new experimental technique with wide application that has been proven for wall fires. To measure the spread rate of the pyrolysis front along vertically oriented flat and corner walls, it may be necessary to measure transient temperature profiles on the walls. Conventional thermocouple and visual observation methods, however, have limitations due to complexity of implementation and the inherent ambiguity of visual observations due to interference from flames. To overcome these limitations, an automated infrared imaging system was applied to obtain two-dimensional wall surface temperature data in a relatively large area. In addition, upward flame spread experiments were conducted over vertically oriented PMMA flat and color board corner walls; and surface thermocouple and infrared imaging temperature data were compared in the PMMA wall fires. All the results indicate that the infrared system with a (10.60.5[mu]m) bandpass filter successfully avoids interferences from the flame allowing measurements of temperature distribution on the fire-heated wall, from which the spread rate in any direction can be deduced. However, this technique will fail for flames whose emissivity is greater than 0.1.

  1. Microgravity.

    PubMed

    Prisk, G Kim

    2011-01-01

    Gravity profoundly affects the overall mechanics of the respiratory system. Functional residual capacity, when measured in sustained microgravity, is intermediate to that present in the standing and supine postures in 1G, consistent with early modeling studies. This change occurs almost exclusively through changes in the abdominal compliance and thus in the volume of the abdominal compartment, with the rib cage being relatively unaffected by gravity. Microgravity leaves vital capacity unaltered once the initial translocation of blood into the thorax is corrected by homeostatic mechanisms, but residual volume is reduced, likely through a more uniform distribution of alveolar size permitting deflation to a lower overall lung volume. Expiratory flows are unaffected by microgravity provided they are measured following normalization of the intrathoracic blood volume. During sleep in microgravity, there is an almost complete abolition of obstructive sleep apnea events. PMID:23737183

  2. Boundary integral equation method calculations of surface regression effects in flame spreading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altenkirch, R. A.; Rezayat, M.; Eichhorn, R.; Rizzo, F. J.

    1982-01-01

    A solid-phase conduction problem that is a modified version of one that has been treated previously in the literature and is applicable to flame spreading over a pyrolyzing fuel is solved using a boundary integral equation (BIE) method. Results are compared to surface temperature measurements that can be found in the literature. In addition, the heat conducted through the solid forward of the flame, the heat transfer responsible for sustaining the flame, is also computed in terms of the Peclet number based on a heated layer depth using the BIE method and approximate methods based on asymptotic expansions. Agreement between computed and experimental results is quite good as is agreement between the BIE and the approximate results.

  3. Influence of the Flow Rate of Oxidising Atmosphere on the Flame Spread Rate on the Surface of Organic Setlled Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinka, Jozef; Balog, Karol; Hrušovský, Ivan; Valentová, Veronika

    2013-01-01

    The presented paper deals with determining the influence of the flow rate of oxidising atmosphere on the flame spread along the surface of the organic settled dust layer. We determined the rate of the flame spread on the surface of the organic settled dust layer (whole grain rye and spelt flour) with absolute moisture of 10 % wt., for the flow rates of oxidising atmosphere 1, 3, 5 and 10 cm/s. Pure oxygen was used as an oxidising atmosphere. The obtained results suggest that there exists a power relationship of the flame spread rate along the surface of organic settled dust layer to the flow rate of the oxidising mixture. The method described is suitable for the relative comparison of the organic settled dust layer from the point of its ability to spread the flame and the influence of the air flow rate on this process.

  4. X-Ray Burst Oscillations: From Flame Spreading to the Cooling Wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoodifar, Simin; Strohmayer, Tod E.

    2016-04-01

    Type I X-ray bursts are thermonuclear flashes observed from the surfaces of accreting neutron stars (NSs) in Low Mass X-ray Binaries. Oscillations have been observed during the rise and/or decay of some of these X-ray bursts. Those seen during the rise can be well explained by a spreading hot spot model, but large amplitude oscillations in the decay phase remain mysterious because of the absence of a clear-cut source of asymmetry. To date there have not been any quantitative studies that consistently track the oscillation amplitude both during the rise and decay (cooling tail) of bursts. In this talk I will discuss the results of our computations of the light curves and amplitudes of oscillations in X-ray burst models that realistically account for both flame spreading and subsequent cooling. I will present results for several such “cooling wake” models, a “canonical” cooling model where each patch on the NS surface heats and cools identically, or with a latitude-dependent cooling timescale set by the local effective gravity, and an “asymmetric” model where parts of the star cool at significantly different rates. We show that while the canonical cooling models can generate oscillations in the tails of bursts, they cannot easily produce the highest observed modulation amplitudes. Alternatively, a simple phenomenological model with asymmetric cooling can achieve higher amplitudes consistent with the observations. I will discuss how the combination of the light curve and fractional amplitude evolution can constrain the properties of the flame spreading, such as ignition latitude, the flame spreading geometry and speed, and its latitudinal dependence which would be important for measuring NSs masses and radii using X-ray burst oscillations.

  5. Effect of ignition conditions on upward flame spread on a composite material in a corner configuration

    SciTech Connect

    Ohlemiller, T.; Cleary, T.; Shields, J.

    1996-12-31

    This paper focuses on the issue of fire growth on composite materials beyond the region immediately subjected to an ignition source. Suppression of this growth is one of the key issues in realizing the safe usage of composite structural materials. A vinyl ester/glass composite was tested in the form of a 90{degrees} comer configuration with an inert ceiling segment 2.44 m above the top of the fire source. The igniter was a propane burner, either 23 or 38 cm in width with power output varied from 30 to 150 Kw. Upward flame spread rate and heat release rate were measured mainly for a brominated vinyl ester resin but limited results were also obtained for a non-flame retarded vinyl ester and a similar composite coated with an intumescent paint. Rapid fire growth beyond the igniter region was seen for the largest igniter power case; the intumescent coating successfully prevented fire growth for this case.

  6. Radiant extinction of gaseous diffusion flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atreya, Arvind; Agrawal, Sanjay; Shamim, Tariq; Pickett, Kent; Sacksteder, Kurt R.; Baum, Howard R.

    1995-01-01

    The absence of buoyancy-induced flows in microgravity significantly alters the fundamentals of many combustion processes. Substantial differences between normal-gravity and microgravity flames have been reported during droplet combustion, flame spread over solids, candle flames, and others. These differences are more basic than just in the visible flame shape. Longer residence time and higher concentration of combustion products create a thermochemical environment which changes the flame chemistry. Processes such as flame radiation, that are often ignored under normal gravity, become very important and sometimes even controlling. This is particularly true for conditions at extinction of a microgravity diffusion flame. Under normal-gravity, the buoyant flow, which may be characterized by the strain rate, assists the diffusion process to transport the fuel and oxidizer to the combustion zone and remove the hot combustion products from it. These are essential functions for the survival of the flame which needs fuel and oxidizer. Thus, as the strain rate is increased, the diffusion flame which is 'weak' (reduced burning rate per unit flame area) at low strain rates is initially 'strengthened' and eventually it may be 'blown-out'. Most of the previous research on diffusion flame extinction has been conducted at the high strain rate 'blow-off' limit. The literature substantially lacks information on low strain rate, radiation-induced, extinction of diffusion flames. At the low strain rates encountered in microgravity, flame radiation is enhanced due to: (1) build-up of combustion products in the flame zone which increases the gas radiation, and (2) low strain rates provide sufficient residence time for substantial amounts of soot to form which further increases the flame radiation. It is expected that this radiative heat loss will extinguish the already 'weak' diffusion flame under certain conditions. Identifying these conditions (ambient atmosphere, fuel flow rate, fuel

  7. Probing thermonuclear flame spreading on neutron stars using burst rise oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Manoneeta; Bhattacharyya, Sudip

    2016-07-01

    Intense X-ray bursts (type-I bursts), originated from runaway thermonuclear processes, are observed from the surfaces of many accreting neutron star Low Mass X-ray Binary (LMXB) systems and they provide an important tool to constrain the neutron star equation of state. Periodic intensity variations during these bursts, termed burst oscillations, are observed in about 10% of thermonuclear bursts. Oscillations during the rising phases of thermonuclear bursts are hypothesized to originate from an expanding hot-spot on the surface of the neutron star. We studied the evolution of oscillations during the rising phase of a large sample of thermonuclear bursts from 10 bursting neutron stars in order to probe the process of burning front propagation during an X-ray burst. Our results show observational evidences of expanding hot-spot with spin modulated flame speeds, possibly due to the effects of the Coriolis force present as a result of the high stellar spin (270-620 Hz). This implies that the flame propagation is latitude-dependent and we address the factors affecting the detection and non-detection of burst rise oscillations in the light of this Coriolis force modulated flame spreading scenario.

  8. Soot Aerosol Properties in Laminar Soot-Emitting Microgravity Nonpremixed Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konsur, Bogdan; Megaridis, Constantine M.; Griffin, Devon W.

    1999-01-01

    The 0-g flame soot measurements reported in previous studies are extended by adding new 0-g data for different fuel flow rates and burner diameters. The new flame conditions allow more conclusive comparisons regarding the effect of characteristic flow residence times on soot field structure, the influence of fuel preheat on fuel pyrolysis rates near the flame centerline, and the premature cessation of soot growth along the soot annulus in 0-g when the fuel is preheated. The paper also reports on the implementation of thermophoretic soot sampling in a specific 0-g flame featuring burner exit velocities typical of buoyant flames and presents quantitative data on the radial variation of soot microstructure at a fixed height above the burner mouth.

  9. PIV Measurement of Transient 3-D (Liquid and Gas Phases) Flow Structures Created by a Spreading Flame over 1-Propanol

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hassan, M. I.; Kuwana, K.; Saito, K.

    2001-01-01

    In the past, we measured three-D flow structure in the liquid and gas phases that were created by a spreading flame over liquid fuels. In that effort, we employed several different techniques including our original laser sheet particle tracking (LSPT) technique, which is capable of measuring transient 2-D flow structures. Recently we obtained a state-of-the-art integrated particle image velocimetry (IPIV), whose function is similar to LSPT, but it has an integrated data recording and processing system. To evaluate the accuracy of our IPIV system, we conducted a series of flame spread tests using the same experimental apparatus that we used in our previous flame spread studies and obtained a series of 2-D flow profiles corresponding to our previous LSPT measurements. We confirmed that both LSPT and IPIV techniques produced similar data, but IPIV data contains more detailed flow structures than LSPT data. Here we present some of newly obtained IPIV flow structure data, and discuss the role of gravity in the flame-induced flow structures. Note that the application of IPIV to our flame spread problems is not straightforward, and it required several preliminary tests for its accuracy including this IPIV comparison to LSPT.

  10. Temperature and Radiative Heat Flux Measurements in Microgravity Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ku, Jerry C.; Greenberg, Paul S.

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this project is to provide detailed measurements and modeling analyses of local soot concentration, temperature and radiation heat flux distributions in laminar and turbulent jet diffusion flames under normal (1-g) and reduced gravity (0-g) conditions. Results published to date by these co-PI's and their co-workers include: 1. thermophoretic sampling and size and morphological analyses of soot aggregates in laminar flames under normal and reduced gravity conditions; 2. full-field absorption imaging for soot volume fraction maps in laminar and turbulent flames under normal and reduced gravity conditions; 3. an accurate solver module for detailed radiation heat transfer in nongray nonhomogeneous media; 4. a complete model to include flame structure, soot formation and an energy equation to couple with radiation solver.

  11. Detailed Studies on Flame Extinction by Inert Particles in Normal- and Micro-gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andac, M. G.; Egolfopoulos, F. N.; Campbell, C. S.

    2001-01-01

    The combustion of dusty flows has been studied to lesser extent than pure gas phase flows and sprays. Particles can have a strong effect by modifying the dynamic response and detailed structure of flames through the dynamic, thermal, and chemical couplings between the two phases. A rigorous understanding of the dynamics and structure of two-phase flows can be attained in stagnation flow configurations, which have been used by others to study spray combustion as well as reacting dusty flows. In earlier studies on reacting dusty flows, the thermal coupling between the two phases as well as the effect of gravity on the flame response were not considered. However, in Ref. 6, the thermal coupling between chemically inert particles and the gas was addressed in premixed flames. The effects of gravity was also studied showing that it can substantially affect the profiles of the particle velocity, number density, mass flux, and temperature. The results showed a strong dynamic and thermal dependence of reacting dusty flows to particle number density. However, the work was only numerical and limited to twin-flames, stagnation, premixed flames. In Ref. 7 the effects of chemically inert particle clouds on the extinction of strained premixed and non-premixed flames were studied both experimentally and numerically at 1-g. It was shown and explained that large particles can cause more effective flame cooling compared to smaller particles. The effects of flame configuration and particle injection orientation were also addressed. The complexity of the coupling between the various parameters in such flows was demonstrated and it was shown that it was impossible to obtain a simple and still meaningful scaling that captured all the pertinent physics.

  12. Cool-flame Extinction During N-Alkane Droplet Combustion in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nayagam, Vedha; Dietrich, Daniel L.; Hicks, Michael C.; Williams, Forman A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent droplet combustion experiments onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have revealed that large n-alkane droplets can continue to burn quasi-steadily following radiative extinction in a low-temperature regime, characterized by negative-temperaturecoefficient (NTC) chemistry. In this study we report experimental observations of n-heptane, n-octane, and n-decane droplets of varying initial sizes burning in oxygen/nitrogen/carbon dioxide and oxygen/helium/nitrogen environments at 1.0, 0.7, and 0.5 atmospheric pressures. The oxygen concentration in these tests varied in the range of 14% to 25% by volume. Large n-alkane droplets exhibited quasi-steady low-temperature burning and extinction following radiative extinction of the visible flame while smaller droplets burned to completion or disruptively extinguished. A vapor-cloud formed in most cases slightly prior to or following the "cool flame" extinction. Results for droplet burning rates in both the hot-flame and cool-flame regimes as well as droplet extinction diameters at the end of each stage are presented. Time histories of radiant emission from the droplet captured using broadband radiometers are also presented. Remarkably the "cool flame" extinction diameters for all the three n-alkanes follow a trend reminiscent of the ignition delay times observed in previous studies. The similarities and differences among the n-alkanes during "cool flame" combustion are discussed using simplified theoretical models of the phenomenon

  13. Particle Generation and Evolution in Silane/Acetylene Flames in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keil, D. G.

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this new experimental program is to advance the understanding of the formation of particles from gas phase combustion processes. The work will utilize the unique SiH4/C2H2 combustion system which generates particulate products ranging from high purity, white SiC to carbonaceous soot depending on equivalence ratio. A key goal of this work is to identify gas phase or particle formation processes that provide the enthalpy release necessary to drive the combustion wave, and to locate the parts of the particle formation process that determine SiC stoichiometry and crystallinity. In a real sense, these SiH4/C2H2 flames act like "highly sooty" hydrocarbon flames, but with simpler chemistry. This simplification is expected to allow them to be used as surrogates to advance understanding of soot formation in such rich hydrocarbon flames. It is also expected that this improved understanding of SiC particle generation and evolution in these self-sustaining flames will advance the commercial potential of the flame process for the generation of high purity SiC powders.

  14. Particle Effects On The Extinction And Ignition Of Flames In Normal- And Micro-Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andac, M. G.; Egolfopoulos, F. N.; Campbell, C. S.

    2003-01-01

    Reacting dusty flows have been studied to lesser extent than pure gas phase flows and sprays. Particles can significantly alter the ignition, burning and extinction characteristics of the gas phase due to the dynamic, thermal, and chemical couplings between the phases. The understanding of two-phase flows can be attained in stagnation flow configurations, which have been used to study spray combustion [e.g. 1] as well as reacting dusty flows [e.g. 2]. The thermal coupling between inert particles and a gas, as well as the effect of gravity, were studied in Ref. 3. It was also shown that the gravity can substantially affect parameters such as the particle velocity, number density, mass flux, and temperature. In Refs. 4 and 5, the effects of inert particles on the extinction of strained premixed and nonpremixed flames were studied both experimentally and numerically at 1-g and m-g. It was shown that large particles can cool flames more effectively than smaller particles. The effects of flame configuration and particle injection orientation were also addressed. It was shown that it was not possible to obtain a simple and still meaningful scaling that captured all the pertinent physics due to the complexity of the couplings between parameters. Also, the cooling by particles is more profound in the absence of gravity as gravity works to reduce the particle number density in the neighborhood of the flame. The efforts were recently shifted towards the understanding of the effects of combustible particles on extinction [6], the gas-phase ignition by hot particle injection [7], and the hot gas ignition of flames in the presence of particles that are not hot enough to ignite the gas phase by themselves.

  15. X-Ray Burst Oscillations: From Flame Spreading to the Cooling Wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoodifar, Simin; Strohmayer, Tod

    2016-02-01

    Type I X-ray bursts are thermonuclear flashes observed from the surfaces of accreting neutron stars (NSs) in low mass X-ray binaries. Oscillations have been observed during the rise and/or decay of some of these X-ray bursts. Those seen during the rise can be well explained by a spreading hot spot model, but large amplitude oscillations in the decay phase remain mysterious because of the absence of a clear-cut source of asymmetry. To date there have not been any quantitative studies that consistently track the oscillation amplitude both during the rise and decay (cooling tail) of bursts. Here we compute the light curves and amplitudes of oscillations in X-ray burst models that realistically account for both flame spreading and subsequent cooling. We present results for several such “cooling wake” models, a “canonical” cooling model where each patch on the NS surface heats and cools identically, or with a latitude-dependent cooling timescale set by the local effective gravity, and an “asymmetric” model where parts of the star cool at significantly different rates. We show that while the canonical cooling models can generate oscillations in the tails of bursts, they cannot easily produce the highest observed modulation amplitudes. Alternatively, a simple phenomenological model with asymmetric cooling can achieve higher amplitudes consistent with the observations.

  16. Cool Flames and Autoignition: Thermal-Ignition Theory of Combustion Experimentally Validated in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Howard; Chapek, Richard M.

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study at the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field is to hone our understanding of spontaneous chemical reactions and determine the various factors that influence when, where, and how cool flames and autoignitions develop. These factors include the molecular structure of the fuel, the pressure and temperature of the mixture, and the various ways in which heat can be lost - through conduction, convection, or radiation. Generally, radiation heat transfer is weak at low temperatures, and most of the heat is lost through convection or conduction.

  17. Flammability Aspects of a Cotton-Fiberglass Fabric in Opposed and Concurrent Airflow in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferkul, Paul V.; Olson, Sandra; Johnston, Michael C.; T'ien, James

    2012-01-01

    Microgravity combustion tests burning fabric samples were performed aboard the International Space Station. The cotton-fiberglass blend samples were mounted inside a small wind tunnel which could impose air flow speeds up to 40 cm/s. The wind tunnel was installed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox which supplied power, imaging, and a level of containment. The effects of air flow speed on flame appearance, flame growth, and spread rates were determined in both the opposed and concurrent flow configuration. For the opposed flow configuration, the flame quickly reached steady spread for each flow speed, and the spread rate was fastest at an intermediate value of flow speed. These tests show the enhanced flammability in microgravity for this geometry, since, in normal gravity air, a flame self-extinguishes in the opposed flow geometry (downward flame spread). In the concurrent flow configuration, flame size grew with time during the tests. A limiting length and steady spread rate were obtained only in low flow speeds ( 10 cm/s) for the short-length samples that fit in the small wind tunnel. For these conditions, flame spread rate increased linearly with increasing flow. This is the first time that detailed transient flame growth data was obtained in purely forced flows in microgravity. In addition, by decreasing flow speed to a very low value (around 1 cm/s), quenching extinction was observed. The valuable results from these long-duration experiments validate a number of theoretical predictions and also provide the data for a transient flame growth model under development.

  18. The Three-D Flow Structures of Gas and Liquid Generated by a Spreading Flame Over Liquid Fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tashtoush, G.; Ito, A.; Konishi, T.; Narumi, A.; Saito, K.; Cremers, C. J.

    1999-01-01

    We developed a new experimental technique called: Combined laser sheet particle tracking (LSPT) and laser holographic interferometry (HI), which is capable of measuring the transient behavior of three dimensional structures of temperature and flow both in liquid and gas phases. We applied this technique to a pulsating flame spread over n-butanol. We found a twin vortex flow both on the liquid surface and deep in the liquid a few mm below the surface and a twin vortex flow in the gas phase. The first twin vortex flow at the liquid surface was observed previously by NASA Lewis researchers, while the last two observations are new. These observations revealed that the convective flow structure ahead of the flame leading edge is three dimensional in nature and the pulsating spread is controlled by the convective flow of both liquid and gas.

  19. FLame

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1995-03-03

    FLAME is data processing software explicitly written to support the ACAP software of DSP Technologies, Inc., of Fremont, CA. ACAP acquires and processes in-cylinder pressure data for reciprocating engines. However, it also has the capability to acquire data for two Sandia-developed technologies, ionization-probe instrumented head gaskets and fiber-optic instrumented spark plugs. FLAME post processes measurements of flame arrival from data files aquired with ACAP. Flame arrival time is determined from analog ionization-probe or visible-emission signals.more » The resulting data files are integrated with the standard ACAP files, providing a common data base for engine development.« less

  20. Contributions of Microgravity Test Results to the Design of Spacecraft Fire Safety Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedman, Robert; Urban, David L.

    1993-01-01

    Experiments conducted in spacecraft and drop towers show that thin-sheet materials have reduced flammability ranges and flame-spread rates under quiescent low-gravity environments (microgravity) as compared to normal gravity. Furthermore, low-gravity flames may be suppressed more easily by atmospheric dilution or decreasing atmospheric total pressure than their normal-gravity counterparts. The addition of a ventilating air flow to the low-gravity flame zone, however, can greatly enhance the flammability range and flame spread. These results, along with observations of flame and smoke characteristics useful for microgravity fire-detection 'signatures', promise to be of considerable value to spacecraft fire-safety designs. The paper summarizes the fire detection and suppression techniques proposed for the Space Station Freedom and discusses both the application of low-gravity combustion knowledge to improve fire protection and the critical needs for further research.

  1. Microgravity research in NASA ground-based facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lekan, Jack

    1989-01-01

    An overview of reduced gravity research performed in NASA ground-based facilities sponsored by the Microgravity Science and Applications Program of the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications is presented. A brief description and summary of the operations and capabilities of each of these facilities along with an overview of the historical usage of them is included. The goals and program elements of the Microgravity Science and Applications programs are described and the specific programs that utilize the low gravity facilities are identified. Results from two particular investigations in combustion (flame spread over solid fuels) and fluid physics (gas-liquid flows at microgravity conditions) are presented.

  2. Radiant Extinction Of Gaseous Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berhan, S.; Chernovsky, M.; Atreya, A.; Baum, Howard R.; Sacksteder, Kurt R.

    2003-01-01

    The absence of buoyancy-induced flows in microgravity (mu:g) and the resulting increase in the reactant residence time significantly alters the fundamentals of many combustion processes. Substantial differences between normal gravity (ng) and :g flames have been reported in experiments on candle flames [1, 2], flame spread over solids [3, 4], droplet combustion [5,6], and others. These differences are more basic than just in the visible flame shape. Longer residence times and higher concentration of combustion products in the flame zone create a thermochemical environment that changes the flame chemistry and the heat and mass transfer processes. Processes such as flame radiation, that are often ignored in ng, become very important and sometimes even controlling. Furthermore, microgravity conditions considerably enhance flame radiation by: (i) the build-up of combustion products in the high-temperature reaction zone which increases the gas radiation, and (ii) longer residence times make conditions appropriate for substantial amounts of soot to form which is also responsible for radiative heat loss. Thus, it is anticipated that radiative heat loss may eventually extinguish the Aweak@ (low burning rate per unit flame area) :g diffusion flame. Yet, space shuttle experiments on candle flames show that in an infinite ambient atmosphere, the hemispherical candle flame in :g will burn indefinitely [1]. This may be because of the coupling between the fuel production rate and the flame via the heat-feedback mechanism for candle flames, flames over solids and fuel droplet flames. Thus, to focus only on the gas-phase phenomena leading to radiative extinction, aerodynamically stabilized gaseous diffusion flames are examined. This enables independent control of the fuel flow rate to help identify conditions under which radiative extinction occurs. Also, spherical geometry is chosen for the :g experiments and modeling because: (i) It reduces the complexity by making the problem

  3. Interactions between flames on parallel solid surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urban, David L.

    1995-01-01

    The interactions between flames spreading over parallel solid sheets of paper are being studied in normal gravity and in microgravity. This geometry is of practical importance since in most heterogeneous combustion systems, the condensed phase is non-continuous and spatially distributed. This spatial distribution can strongly affect burning and/or spread rate. This is due to radiant and diffusive interactions between the surface and the flames above the surfaces. Tests were conducted over a variety of pressures and separation distances to expose the influence of the parallel sheets on oxidizer transport and on radiative feedback.

  4. Edge Diffusion Flame Propagation and Stabilization Studied

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takahashi, Fumiaki; Katta, Viswanath R.

    2004-01-01

    In most practical combustion systems or fires, fuel and air are initially unmixed, thus forming diffusion flames. As a result of flame-surface interactions, the diffusion flame often forms an edge, which may attach to burner walls, spread over condensed fuel surfaces, jump to another location through the fuel-air mixture formed, or extinguish by destabilization (blowoff). Flame holding in combustors is necessary to achieve design performance and safe operation of the system. Fires aboard spacecraft behave differently from those on Earth because of the absence of buoyancy in microgravity. This ongoing in-house flame-stability research at the NASA Glenn Research Center is important in spacecraft fire safety and Earth-bound combustion systems.

  5. Thickness and Fuel Preheating Effects on Material Flammability in Microgravity from the BASS Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferkul, Paul V.; Olson, Sandra L.; Takahashi, Fumiaki; Endo, Makoto; Johnson, Michael C.; T'ien, James S.

    2013-01-01

    The Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) experiment was performed on the International Space Station. Microgravity combustion tests burning thin and thick flat samples, acrylic spheres, and candles were conducted. The samples were mounted inside a small wind tunnel which could impose air flow speeds up to 40 cms. The wind tunnel was installed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox which supplied power, imaging, and a level of containment. The effects of air flow speed, fuel thickness, fuel preheating, and nitrogen dilution on flame appearance, flame growth, and spread rates were determined in both the opposed and concurrent flow configuration. In some cases, a jet of nitrogen was introduced to attempt to extinguish the flame. Microgravity flames were found to be especially sensitive to air flow speed in the range 0 to 5 cms. The gas phase response is much faster compared to the solid and so as the flow speed is changed, the flame responds with almost no delay. At the lowest speeds examined (less than 1 cms) all the flames tended to become dim blue and very stable. However, heat loss at these very low convective rates is small so the flames can burn for a long time. At moderate flow speeds (between about 1 and 5 cms) the flame continually heats the solid fuel resulting in an increasing fuel temperature, higher rate of fuel vaporization, and a stronger, more luminous flame as time progresses. Only the smallest flames burning acrylic slabs appeared to be adversely influenced by solid conductive heat loss, but even these burned for over 5 minutes before self-extinguishing. This has implications for spacecraft fire safety since a tiny flame might be undetected for a long time. While the small flame is not particularly hazardous if it remains small, the danger is that it might flare up if the air convection is suddenly increased or if the flame spreads into another fuel source.

  6. Spread Across Liquids Continues to Fly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Fletcher J.

    2001-01-01

    The physics and behavior of a flame spreading across a flammable liquid is an active area of research at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Spills of fuels and other liquids often result in considerable fire hazards, and much remains unknown about the details of how a flame, once ignited, moves across a pool. The depth of the liquid or size of the spill, the temperature, and wind, if any, can all complicate the combustion processes. In addition, with the advent of the International Space Station there may be fire hazards associated with cleaning, laboratory, or other fluids in space, and it is essential to understand the role that gravity plays in such situations. The Spread Across Liquids (SAL) experiment is an experimental and computational effort dedicated to understanding the detailed mechanisms of flame spread across a flammable liquid initially below its flashpoint temperature. The experimental research is being carried out in-house by a team of researchers from Glenn, the National Center for Microgravity Combustion, and Zin Technologies, with computer modeling being provided via a grant with the University of California, Irvine. Glenn's Zero Gravity Facility is used to achieve short microgravity periods, and normal gravity testing is done in the Space Experiments Laboratory. To achieve longer periods of microgravity, the showcase SAL hardware flies aboard a sounding rocket launched from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, approximately once per year. In addition to extended microgravity, this carrier allows the use of detailed diagnostics that cannot be employed in a drop tower.

  7. Spreading of thermonuclear flames on the neutron star in SAX J1808.4-3658: an observational tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharyya, Sudip; Strohmayer, Tod E.

    2005-01-01

    We analyse archival Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) proportional counter array (PCA) data of thermonuclear X-ray bursts from the 2002 outburst of the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX 51808.4-3658. We present evidence of a complex frequency modulation of oscillations during burst rise, and correlations among the time evolution of the oscillation frequency, amplitude, and the inferred burning region area. We discuss these findings in the context of a model, based on thermonuclear flame spreading on the neutron star surface, that can qualitatively explain these features. From our model, we infer that for the 2002 Oct. 15 thermonuclear burst, the ignition likely occurred in the mid-latitudes, the burning region took approx. 0.2 s to nearly encircle the equatorial region of the neutron star, and after that the lower amplitude oscillation originated from the remaining asymmetry of the burning front in the same hemisphere where the burst ignited. We emphasize that studies of the evolution of burst oscillation properties during burst rise can provide a powerful tool to understand thermonuclear flame spreading on neutron star surfaces under extreme physical conditions.

  8. Effects of buoyancy on lean premixed v-flames, Part II. VelocityStatistics in Normal and Microgravity

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, R.K.; Bedat, B.; Yegian, D.T.

    1999-07-01

    The field effects of buoyancy on laminar and turbulent premixed v-flames have been studied by the use of laser Doppler velocimetry to measure the velocity statistics in +1g, -1g and {micro}g flames. The experimental conditions covered mean velocity, Uo, of 0.4 to 2 m/s, methane/air equivalence ratio, f, of 0.62 to 0.75. The Reynolds numbers, from 625 to 3130 and the Richardson number from 0.05 to 1.34. The results show that a change from favorable (+1g) to unfavorable (-1g) mean pressure gradient in the plume create stagnating flows in the far field whose influences on the mean and fluctuating velocities persist in the near field even at the highest Re we have investigated. The use of Richardson number < 0.1 as a criterion for momentum dominance is not sufficient to prescribe an upper limit for these buoyancy effects. In {micro}g, the flows within the plumes are non-accelerating and parallel. Therefore, velocity gradients and hence mean strain rates in the plumes of laboratory flames are direct consequences of buoyancy. Furthermore, the rms fluctuations in the plumes of {micro}g flames are lower and more isotropic than in the laboratory flames to show that the unstable plumes in laboratory flames also induce velocity fluctuations. The phenomena influenced by buoyancy i.e. degree of flame wrinkling, flow acceleration, flow distribution, and turbulence production, can be subtle due to their close coupling with other flame flow interaction processes. But they cannot be ignored in fundamental studies or else the conclusions and insights would be ambiguous and not very meaningful.

  9. Microgravity Combustion Science: 1995 Program Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Howard D. (Editor); Gokoglu, Suleyman A. (Editor); Friedman, Robert (Editor)

    1995-01-01

    Microgravity greatly benefits the study of fundamental combustion processes. In this environment, buoyancy-induced flow is nearly eliminated, weak or normally obscured forces and flows can be isolated, gravitational settling or sedimentation is nearly eliminated, and temporal and spatial scales can be expanded. This document reviews the state of knowledge in microgravity combustion science with the emphasis on NASA-sponsored developments in the current period of 1992 to early 1995. The subjects cover basic research in gaseous premixed and diffusion-flame systems, flame structure and sooting, liquid droplets and pools, and solid-surface ignition and flame spread. They also cover applied research in combustion synthesis of ceramic-metal composites, advanced diagnostic instrumentation, and on-orbit fire safety. The review promotes continuing research by describing the opportunities for Principal Investigator participation through the NASA Research Announcement program and the available NASA Lewis Research Center ground-based facilities and spaceflight accommodations. This review is compiled by the members and associates of the NASA Lewis Microgravity Combustion Branch, and it serves as an update of two previous overview reports.

  10. Particle Generation And Evolution In Silane (SiH4)/Acetylene (C2H2) Flames In Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keil, D. G.

    2003-01-01

    The objective of this experimental program is to advance the understanding of the coupling of particle formation with gas phase combustion processes. The work utilizes the unique SiH4/C2H2 combustion system which generates particulate products ranging from high purity, white SiC to carbonaceous soot depending on equivalence ratio (Ref. 1). A goal of this work is to identify gas phase or particle formation processes that provide the enthalpy release needed to drive the combustion wave, and to locate the steps of the particle formation process that determine SiC stoichiometry and crystallinity. In a real sense, these SiH4/C2H2 flames act like highly sooty hydrocarbon flames, but with simpler chemistry. This simplification is expected to allow them to be used as surrogates to advance understanding of soot formation in such rich hydrocarbon flames. It is also expected that this improved understanding of SiC particle generation and evolution in these self-sustaining flames will advance the commercial potential of the flame process for the generation of high purity SiC powders.

  11. Burning Candles in the Microgravity of Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, Daniel; Ross, Howard; Tien, James

    1997-01-01

    The Candle Flames in Microgravity (CFM) experiment was designed to study how long candle flames can be sustained in microgravity, how the flames behave prior to extinction, and the how two closely spaced candle flames behave. The scientists hope that one day the results will help resolve age-old questions regarding the effects of gravity on certain types of flames (low momentum diffusion flames, or candle flames) and their ability to burn without the presence of gravity. This information will provide a better understanding of fires on spacecraft and could lead to advances in fire detection and extinction techniques.

  12. Gravitational Influences on Flame Propagation Through Non-Uniform, Premixed Gas Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Fletcher J.; Easton, John; Marchese, Anthony; Hovermann, Fred

    2003-01-01

    Flame propagation through non-uniformly premixed (or layered) gases has importance both in useful combustion systems and in unintentional fires. As summarized recently and in previous Microgravity Workshop papers, non-uniform premixed gas combustion receives scant attention compared to the more usual limiting cases of diffusion or uniformly premixed flames, especially regarding the role gravity plays. This paper summarizes our recent findings on gravitational effects on layered combustion along a floor, in which the fuel concentration gradient exists normal to the direction of flame spread. In an effort to understand the mechanism by which the flames spread faster in microgravity (and much faster, in laboratory coordinates, than the laminar burning velocity for uniform mixtures), we have begun making pressure measurements across the spreading flame front that are described here. Earlier researchers, testing in 1g, claimed that hydrostatic pressure differences could account for the rapid spread rates. Additionally, we present the development of a new apparatus to study flame spread in free (i.e., far from walls), non-homogeneous fuel layers formed in a flow tunnel behind an airfoil that has been tested in normal gravity.

  13. A Numerical Investigation of the Extinction of Low Strain Rate Diffusion Flames by an Agent in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Puri, Ishwar K.

    2004-01-01

    Our goal has been to investigate the influence of both dilution and radiation on the extinction process of nonpremixed flames at low strain rates. Simulations have been performed by using a counterflow code and three radiation models have been included in it, namely, the optically thin, the narrowband, and discrete ordinate models. The counterflow flame code OPPDIFF was modified to account for heat transfer losses by radiation from the hot gases. The discrete ordinate method (DOM) approximation was first suggested by Chandrasekhar for solving problems in interstellar atmospheres. Carlson and Lathrop developed the method for solving multi-dimensional problem in neutron transport. Only recently has the method received attention in the field of heat transfer. Due to the applicability of the discrete ordinate method for thermal radiation problems involving flames, the narrowband code RADCAL was modified to calculate the radiative properties of the gases. A non-premixed counterflow flame was simulated with the discrete ordinate method for radiative emissions. In comparison with two other models, it was found that the heat losses were comparable with the optically thin and simple narrowband model. The optically thin model had the highest heat losses followed by the DOM model and the narrow-band model.

  14. Microgravity Platforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Del Basso, Steve

    2000-01-01

    The world's space agencies have been conducting microgravity research since the beginning of space flight. Initially driven by the need to understand the impact of less than- earth gravity physics on manned space flight, microgravity research has evolved into a broad class of scientific experimentation that utilizes extreme low acceleration environments. The U.S. NASA microgravity research program supports both basic and applied research in five key areas: biotechnology - focusing on macro-molecular crystal growth as well as the use of the unique space environment to assemble and grow mammalian tissue; combustion science - focusing on the process of ignition, flame propagation, and extinction of gaseous, liquid, and solid fuels; fluid physics - including aspects of fluid dynamics and transport phenomena; fundamental physics - including the study of critical phenomena, low-temperature, atomic, and gravitational physics; and materials science - including electronic and photonic materials, glasses and ceramics, polymers, and metals and alloys. Similar activities prevail within the Chinese, European, Japanese, and Russian agencies with participation from additional international organizations as well. While scientific research remains the principal objective behind these program, all hope to drive toward commercialization to sustain a long range infrastructure which .benefits the national technology and economy. In the 1997 International Space Station Commercialization Study, conducted by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, some viable microgravity commercial ventures were identified, however, none appeared sufficiently robust to privately fund space access at that time. Thus, government funded micro gravity research continues on an evolutionary path with revolutionary potential.

  15. Quantitative Measurement of Oxygen in Microgravity Combustion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silver, Joel A.

    1997-01-01

    A low-gravity environment, in space or in ground-based facilities such as drop towers, provides a unique setting for studying combustion mechanisms. Understanding the physical phenomena controlling the ignition and spread of flames in microgravity has importance for space safety as well as for better characterization of dynamical and chemical combustion processes which are normally masked by buoyancy and other gravity-related effects. Due to restrictions associated with performing measurements in reduced gravity, diagnostic methods which have been applied to microgravity combustion studies have generally been limited to capture of flame emissions on film or video, laser Schlieren imaging and (intrusive) temperature measurements using thermocouples. Given the development of detailed theoretical models, more sophisticated diagnostic methods are needed to provide the kind of quantitative data necessary to characterize the properties of microgravity combustion processes as well as provide accurate feedback to improve the predictive capabilities of the models. When the demands of space flight are considered, the need for improved diagnostic systems which are rugged, compact, reliable, and operate at low power becomes apparent. The objective of this research is twofold. First, we want to develop a better understanding of the relative roles of diffusion and reaction of oxygen in microgravity combustion. As the primary oxidizer species, oxygen plays a major role in controlling the observed properties of flames, including flame front speed (in solid or liquid flames), extinguishment characteristics, flame size and flame temperature. The second objective is to develop better diagnostics based on diode laser absorption which can be of real value in both microgravity combustion research and as a sensor on-board Spacelab as either an air quality monitor or as part of a fire detection system. In our prior microgravity work, an eight line-of-sight fiber optic system measured

  16. Interferometer Development for Study of Interactions between Flames on Parallel Solid Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldmeer, J. S.; Urban, D. L.; Yuan, Z. G.

    1999-01-01

    The interactions between flames spreading over parallel solid sheets of paper are being studied in normal gravity and in microgravity. This geometry provides interesting opportunities to study the interaction of radiative and diffusive transport mechanisms on the spread process. These transport mechanisms are changed when the flame interacts with other flames. Most practical heterogeneous combustion processes involve interacting discrete burning fuel elements, consequently, the study of these interactions is of practical significance. Owing largely to this practical importance, flame interactions have been an area of active research, however microgravity research has been largely limited to droplets. Consideration of flame spread over parallel solid surfaces has been limited to 1-g studies. To study the conductive transport in these flames, an interferometer system has been developed for use in the drop tower. The system takes advantage of a single beam interferometer: Point Diffraction Interferometry (PDI) which uses a portion of the light through the test section to provide the reference beam. Like other interferometric and Schlieren systems, it is a line of sight measurement and is subject to the usual edge and concentration effects. The advantage over Schlieren and shearing interferometry systems is that the fringes are lines of constant index of refraction rather than of its gradient so the images are more readily interpreted. The disadvantage is that it is less able to accommodate a range of temperature gradients.

  17. Burning Laminar Jet Diffusion Flame

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Study of the downlink data from the Laminar Soot Processes (LSP) experiment quickly resulted in discovery of a new mechanism of flame extinction caused by radiation of soot. Scientists found that the flames emit soot sooner than expected. These findings have direct impact on spacecraft fire safety, as well as the theories predicting the formation of soot -- which is a major factor as a pollutant and in the spread of unwanted fires. This sequence was taken July 15, 1997, MET:14/10:34 (approximate) and shows the ignition and extinction of this flame. LSP investigated fundamental questions regarding soot, a solid byproduct of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. The experiment was performed using a laminar jet diffusion flame, which is created by simply flowing fuel -- like ethylene or propane -- through a nozzle and igniting it, much like a butane cigarette lighter. The LSP principal investigator was Gerard Faeth, University of Michigan, Arn Arbor. The experiment was part of the space research investigations conducted during the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1R mission (STS-94, July 1-17 1997). LSP results led to a reflight for extended investigations on the STS-107 research mission in January 2003. Advanced combustion experiments will be a part of investigations planned for the International Space Station. (518KB, 20-second MPEG, screen 160 x 120 pixels; downlinked video, higher quality not available) A still JPG composite of this movie is available at http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/MSFC-0300182.html.

  18. Low velocity opposed-flow frame spread in a transport-controlled environment DARTFire

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    West, Jeff; Thomas, Pete; Chao, Ruian; Bhattacharjee, Subrata; Tang, TI; Altenkirch, Robert A.; Olson, Sandra L.

    1995-01-01

    The overall objectives of the DARTFire project are to uncover the underlying physics and increase understanding of the mechanisms that cause flames to propagate over solid fuels against a low velocity of oxidizer flow in a low-gravity environment. Specific objectives are (1) to analyze experimentally observed flame shapes, measured gas-phase field variables, spread rates, radiative characteristics, and solid-phase regression rates for comparison with previously developed model prediction capability that will be continually extended, and (2) to investigate the transition from ignition to either flame propagation or extinction in order to determine the characteristics of those environments that lead to flame evolution. To meet the objectives, a series of sounding rocket experiments has been designed to exercise several of the dimensional, controllable variables that affect the flame spread process over PMMA in microgravity, i.e., the opposing flow velocity (1-20 cm/s), the external radiant flux directed to the fuel surface (0-2 W/cm(exp 2)), and the oxygen concentration of the environment (35-70%). Because radiative heat transfer is critical to these microgravity flame spread experiments, radiant heating is imposed, and radiant heat loss will be measured. These are the first attempts at such an experimental control and measurement in microgravity. Other firsts associated with the experiment are (1) the control of the low velocity, opposed flow, which is of the same order as diffusive velocities and Stefan flows; (2) state-of-the-art quantitative flame imaging for species-specific emissions (both infrared and ultraviolet) in addition to novel intensified array imaging to obtain a color image of the very dim, low-gravity flames.

  19. Microgravity Effects on Combustion of Polymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hirsch, David; Williams, Jim; Beeson, Harold

    2007-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing various microgravity effects on the combustion of polymers is shown. The topics include: 1) Major combustion processes and controlling mechanisms in normal and microgravity environments; 2) Review of some buoyancy effects on combustion: melting of thermoplastics; flame strength, geometry and temperature; smoldering combustion; 3) Video comparing polymeric rods burning in normal and microgravity environments; and 4) Relation to spacecraft fire safety of current knowledge of polymers microgravity combustion.

  20. Japan's research on gaseous flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niioka, Takashi

    1995-01-01

    Although research studies on gaseous flames in microgravity in Japan have not been one-sided, they have been limited, for the most part, to comparatively fundamental studies. At present it is only possible to achieve a microgravity field by the use of drop towers, as far as gaseous flames are concerned. Compared with experiments on droplets, including droplet arrays, which have been vigorously performed in Japan, studies on gaseous flames have just begun. Experiments on ignition of gaseous fuel, flammability limits, flame stability, effect of magnetic field on flames, and carbon formation from gaseous flames are currently being carried out in microgravity. Seven subjects related to these topics are introduced and discussed herein.

  1. Experimental Measurements of Two-dimensional Planar Propagating Edge Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Villa-Gonzalez, Marcos; Marchese, Anthony J.; Easton, John W.; Miller, Fletcher J.

    2007-01-01

    The study of edge flames has received increased attention in recent years. This work reports the results of a recent study into two-dimensional, planar, propagating edge flames that are remote from solid surfaces (called here, free-layer flames, as opposed to layered flames along floors or ceilings). They represent an ideal case of a flame propagating down a flammable plume, or through a flammable layer in microgravity. The results were generated using a new apparatus in which a thin stream of gaseous fuel is injected into a low-speed laminar wind tunnel thereby forming a flammable layer along the centerline. An airfoil-shaped fuel dispenser downstream of the duct inlet issues ethane from a slot in the trailing edge. The air and ethane mix due to mass diffusion while flowing up towards the duct exit, forming a flammable layer with a steep lateral fuel concentration gradient and smaller axial fuel concentration gradient. We characterized the flow and fuel concentration fields in the duct using hot wire anemometer scans, flow visualization using smoke traces, and non-reacting, numerical modeling using COSMOSFloWorks. In the experiment, a hot wire near the exit ignites the ethane air layer, with the flame propagating downwards towards the fuel source. Reported here are tests with the air inlet velocity of 25 cm/s and ethane flows of 967-1299 sccm, which gave conditions ranging from lean to rich along the centerline. In these conditions the flame spreads at a constant rate faster than the laminar burning rate for a premixed ethane air mixture. The flame spread rate increases with increasing transverse fuel gradient (obtained by increasing the fuel flow rate), but appears to reach a maximum. The flow field shows little effect due to the flame approach near the igniter, but shows significant effect, including flow reversal, well ahead of the flame as it approaches the airfoil fuel source.

  2. Real Time Quantitative 3-D Imaging of Diffusion Flame Species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kane, Daniel J.; Silver, Joel A.

    1997-01-01

    A low-gravity environment, in space or ground-based facilities such as drop towers, provides a unique setting for study of combustion mechanisms. Understanding the physical phenomena controlling the ignition and spread of flames in microgravity has importance for space safety as well as better characterization of dynamical and chemical combustion processes which are normally masked by buoyancy and other gravity-related effects. Even the use of so-called 'limiting cases' or the construction of 1-D or 2-D models and experiments fail to make the analysis of combustion simultaneously simple and accurate. Ideally, to bridge the gap between chemistry and fluid mechanics in microgravity combustion, species concentrations and temperature profiles are needed throughout the flame. However, restrictions associated with performing measurements in reduced gravity, especially size and weight considerations, have generally limited microgravity combustion studies to the capture of flame emissions on film or video laser Schlieren imaging and (intrusive) temperature measurements using thermocouples. Given the development of detailed theoretical models, more sophisticated studies are needed to provide the kind of quantitative data necessary to characterize the properties of microgravity combustion processes as well as provide accurate feedback to improve the predictive capabilities of the computational models. While there have been a myriad of fluid mechanical visualization studies in microgravity combustion, little experimental work has been completed to obtain reactant and product concentrations within a microgravity flame. This is largely due to the fact that traditional sampling methods (quenching microprobes using GC and/or mass spec analysis) are too heavy, slow, and cumbersome for microgravity experiments. Non-intrusive optical spectroscopic techniques have - up until now - also required excessively bulky, power hungry equipment. However, with the advent of near-IR diode

  3. Laminar Jet Diffusion Flame Burning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Study of the downlink data from the Laminar Soot Processes (LSP) experiment quickly resulted in discovery of a new mechanism of flame extinction caused by radiation of soot. Scientists found that the flames emit soot sooner than expected. These findings have direct impact on spacecraft fire safety, as well as the theories predicting the formation of soot -- which is a major factor as a pollutant and in the spread of unwanted fires. This sequence, using propane fuel, was taken STS-94, July 4 1997, MET:2/05:30 (approximate). LSP investigated fundamental questions regarding soot, a solid byproduct of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. The experiment was performed using a laminar jet diffusion flame, which is created by simply flowing fuel-like ethylene or propane -- through a nozzle and igniting it, much like a butane cigarette lighter. The LSP principal investigator was Gerard Faeth, University of Michigan, Arn Arbor. The experiment was part of the space research investigations conducted during the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1R mission (STS-94, July 1-17 1997). LSP results led to a reflight for extended investigations on the STS-107 research mission in January 2003. Advanced combustion experiments will be a part of investigations planned for the International Space Station. (983KB, 9-second MPEG, screen 320 x 240 pixels; downlinked video, higher quality not available) A still JPG composite of this movie is available at http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/MSFC-0300184.html.

  4. Partially Premixed Flame (PPF) Research for Fire Safety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Puri, Ishwar K.; Aggarwal, Suresh K.; Lock, Andrew J.; Hegde, Uday

    2004-01-01

    Incipient fires typically occur after the partial premixing of fuel and oxidizer. The mixing of product species into the fuel/oxidizer mixture influences flame stabilization and fire spread. Therefore, it is important to characterize the impact of different levels of fuel/oxidizer/product mixing on flame stabilization, liftoff and extinguishment under different gravity conditions. With regard to fire protection, the agent concentration required to achieve flame suppression is an important consideration. The initial stage of an unwanted fire in a microgravity environment will depend on the level of partial premixing and the local conditions such as air currents generated by the fire itself and any forced ventilation (that influence agent and product mixing into the fire). The motivation of our investigation is to characterize these impacts in a systematic and fundamental manner.

  5. Premixed Atmosphere and Convection Influences on Flame Inhibition and Combustion (Pacific)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Honda, Linton K.; Ronney, Paul D.

    1997-01-01

    Flame spread over flat solid fuel beds is a useful paradigm for studying the behavior of more complex two-phase nonpremixed flames. For practical applications, two of the most important elements of flame spreading are the effects of (1) the ambient atmosphere (e.g. pressure and composition) and (2) the flow environment on the spread rate and extinction conditions. Concerning (1), studies of flame spread in vitiated air and non-standard atmospheres such as those found in undersea vessels and spacecraft are particularly important for the assessment of fire hazards in these environments as well as determination of the effectiveness of fire suppressants. Concerning (2), the flow environment may vary widely even when no forced flow is present because of buoyancy effects. Consequently, the goal of this work is to employ microgravity (micro g) experiments to extend previous studies of the effects of ambient atmosphere and the flow environment on flame spread through the use of microgravity (micro g) experiments. Because of the considerable differences between upward (concurrent-flow) and downward (opposed-flow) flame spread at 1g (Williams, 1976, Fernandez-Pello, 1984), in this work both upward and downward 1g spread are tested. Two types of changes to the oxidizing atmosphere are considered in this work. One is the addition of sub-flammability-limit concentrations of a gaseous fuel ('partially premixed' atmospheres). This is of interest because in fires in enclosures, combustion may occur under poorly ventilated conditions, so that oxygen is partially depleted from the air and is replaced by combustible gases such as fuel vapors, H2 or CO. Subsequent fire spread over the solid fuel could occur under conditions of varying oxygen and gaseous fuel content. The potential significance of flame spread under vitiated or partially premixed conditions has been noted previously (Beyler, 1984). The second change is the diluent type, which affects the radiative properties of the

  6. A Theory of Oscillating Edge Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buckmaster, J.; Zhang, Yi

    1999-01-01

    It has been known for some years that when a near-limit flame spreads over a liquid pool of fuel, the edge of the flame can oscillate relative to a frame moving with the mean speed. Each period of oscillation is characterized by long intervals of modest motion during which the edge gases radiate like those of a diffusion flame, punctuated by bursts of rapid advance during which the edge gases radiate like those in a deflagration. Substantial resources have been brought to bear on this issue within the microgravity program, both experimental and numerical. It is also known that when a near-asphyxiated candle-flame burns at zero gravity, the edge of the (hemispherical) flame can oscillate violently prior to extinction. Thus a web-surfer, turning to the NASA web-site at http://microgravity.msfc.nasa.gov, and following the trail combustion science/experiments/experimental results/candle flame, will find photographs and a description of candle burning experiments carried out on board both the Space-shuttle and the Russian space station Mir. A brief report can also be found in the proceedings of the Fourth Workshop. And recently, in a third microgravity program, the leading edge of the flame supported by injection of ethane through the porous surface of a plate over which air is blown has been found to oscillate when conditions are close to blow-off. A number of important points can be made with respect to these observations: It is the edge itself which oscillates, advancing and retreating, not the diffusion flame that trails behind the edge; oscillations only occur under near limit conditions; in each case the Lewis number of the fuel is significantly larger than 1; and because of the edge curvature, the heat losses from the reacting edge structure are larger than those from the trailing diffusion flame. We propose a general theory for these oscillations, invoking Occam's 'Law of Parsimony' in an expanded form, to wit: The same mechanism is responsible for the

  7. Polymethylmethacrylate combustion in a narrow channel apparatus simulating a microgravity environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornand, Garrett Randall

    Fire safety is an important part of engineering when human lives are at stake. From everyday homes to spacecraft that can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The research in this thesis attempts to provide scientific evidence that the apparatus in question successfully simulates microgravity and can possibly replace NASA's current test method for spacecraft fire safety. Flame spread tests were conducted with thermally thick and thermally thin polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) samples to study flame spread behavior in response to environmental changes. The tests were conducted using the San Diego State University Narrow Channel Apparatus (SDSU NCA) as well as within the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on the International Space Station (ISS). The SDSU NCA can suppress buoyant flow in horizontally spreading flames, and is currently being investigated as a possible replacement or complement to NASA's current material flammability test standard for non-metallic solids, NASA-STD-(I)-6001B Test 1. The buoyant suppression attained in the NCA allows tests to be conducted in a simulated microgravity environment-a characteristic that NASA's Test 1 lacks since flames present in Test 1 are driven by buoyant flows. The SDSU NCA allows for tests to be conducted at various opposed flow oxidizer velocities, oxygen percent by volume, and total pressure to mimic various spacecraft and habitat atmospheres. Tests were conducted at 1 atm pressure, thin fuel thickness of 50 and 75 microns, thick fuel thickness ranging from 3 mm to 5.6 mm, opposed oxidizer velocity ranging from 10 to 25 cm/s, and oxygen concentration by volume at 21, 30, and 50 percent. The simulated microgravity flame spread results were then compared to true microgravity experiments including; testing conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) under the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) research, NASA's 5.2 second Drop Tower, and Micro-Gravity Laboratory's (MGLAB) 4.5 second Drop Tower. Data was also

  8. A Method for Assessing Material Flammability for Micro-Gravity Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinhaus, T.; Olenick, S. M.; Sifuentes, A.; Long, R. T.; Torero, J. L.

    1999-01-01

    On a spacecraft, one of the greatest fears during a mission is the outbreak of a fire. Since spacecraft are enclosed spaces and depend highly on technical electronics, a small fire could cause a large amount of damage. NASA uses upward flame spread as a "worst case scenario" evaluation for materials and the Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates Test to assess the damage potential of a fire. Details of these tests and the protocols followed are provided by the "Flammability, Odor, Offgassing, and Compatibility Requirements and Test Procedures for Materials in Environments that Support Combustion" document. As pointed by Ohlemiller and Villa, the upward flame spread test does not address the effect of external radiation on ignition and spread. External radiation, as that coming from an overheated electrical component, is a plausible fire scenario in a space facility and could result in a reversal of the flammability rankings derived from the upward flame spread test. The "Upward Flame Propagation Test" has been the subject of strong criticism in the last few years. In many cases, theoretical exercises and experimental results have demonstrated the possibility of a reversal in the material flammability rankings from normal to micro-gravity. Furthermore, the need to incorporate information on the effects of external radiation and opposed flame spread when ranking materials based on their potential to burn in micro-gravity has been emphasized. Experiments conducted in a 2.2 second drop tower with an ethane burner in an air cross flow have emphasized that burning at the trailing edge is deterred in micro-gravity due to the decreased oxygen transport. For very low air flow velocities (U<0.005 m/s) the flame envelopes the burner and a slight increase in velocity results in extinction of the trailing edge (U>0.01 m/s). Only for U>0.l m/s extinction is observed at the leading edge (blow-off). Three dimensional numerical calculations performed for thin cellulose centrally

  9. Flame Shapes of Nonbuoyant Laminar Jet Diffusion Flames. Appendix K

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xu, F.; Faeth, G. M.; Urban, D. L. (Technical Monitor); Yuan, Z.-G. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The shapes (flame-sheet and luminous-flame boundaries) of steady nonbuoyant round hydrocarbon-fueled laminar-jet diffusion flames in still and coflowing air were studied both experimentally and theoretically. Flame-sheet shapes were measured from photographs using a CH optical filter to distinguish flame-sheet boundaries in the presence of blue C02 and OH emissions and yellow continuum radiation from soot. Present experimental conditions included acetylene-, methane-, propane-, and ethylene-fueled flames having initial reactant temperatures of 300 K, ambient pressures of 4-50 kPa, jet exit Reynolds number of 3-54, initial air/fuel velocity ratios of 0-9 and luminous flame lengths of 5-55 mm; earlier measurements for propylene- and 1,3-butadiene-fueled flames for similar conditions were considered as well. Nonbuoyant flames in still air were observed at micro-gravity conditions; essentially nonbuoyant flames in coflowing air were observed at small pressures to control effects of buoyancy. Predictions of luminous flame boundaries from soot luminosity were limited to laminar smoke-point conditions, whereas predictions of flame-sheet boundaries ranged from soot-free to smoke-point conditions. Flame-shape predictions were based on simplified analyses using the boundary layer approximations along with empirical parameters to distinguish flame-sheet and luminous-flame (at the laminar smoke point) boundaries. The comparison between measurements and predictions was remarkably good and showed that both flame-sheet and luminous-flame lengths are primarily controlled by fuel flow rates with lengths in coflowing air approaching 2/3 lengths in still air as coflowing air velocities are increased. Finally, luminous flame lengths at laminar smoke-point conditions were roughly twice as long as flame-sheet lengths at comparable conditions due to the presence of luminous soot particles in the fuel-lean region of the flames.

  10. Flame Shapes of Nonbuoyant Laminar Jet Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xu, F.; Dai, Z.; Faeth, G. M.; Urban, D. L. (Technical Monitor); Yuan, Z. G. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The shapes (flame-sheet and luminous-flame boundaries) of steady nonbuoyant round hydrocarbon-fueled laminar-jet diffusion flames in still and coflowing air were studied both experimentally and theoretically. Flame-sheet shapes were measured from photographs using a CH optical filter to distinguish flame-sheet boundaries in the presence of blue CO2 and OH emissions and yellow continuum radiation from soot. Present experimental conditions included acetylene-, methane-, propane-, and ethylene-fueled flames having initial reactant temperatures of 300 K, ambient pressures of 4-50 kPa, jet exit Reynolds number of 3-54, initial air/fuel velocity ratios of 0-9 and luminous flame lengths of 5-55 mm; earlier measurements for propylene- and 1,3-butadiene-fueled flames for similar conditions were considered as well. Nonbuoyant flames in still air were observed at micro-gravity conditions; essentially nonbuoyant flames in coflowing air were observed at small pressures to control effects of buoyancy. Predictions of luminous flame boundaries from soot luminosity were limited to laminar smokepoint conditions, whereas predictions of flame-sheet boundaries ranged from soot-free to smokepoint conditions. Flame-shape predictions were based on simplified analyses using the boundary layer approximations along with empirical parameters to distinguish flame-sheet and luminous flame (at the laminar smoke point) boundaries. The comparison between measurements and predictions was remarkably good and showed that both flame-sheet and luminous-flame lengths are primarily controlled by fuel flow rates with lengths in coflowing air approaching 2/3 lengths in still air as coflowing air velocities are increased. Finally, luminous flame lengths at laminar smoke-point conditions were roughly twice as long as flame-sheet lengths at comparable conditions due to the presence of luminous soot particles in the fuel-lean region of the flames.

  11. Laminar and Turbulent Gaseous Diffusion Flames. Appendix C

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faeth, G. M.; Urban, D. L. (Technical Monitor); Yuan, Z.-G. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Recent measurements and predictions of the properties of homogeneous (gaseous) laminar and turbulent non-premixed (diffusion) flames are discussed, emphasizing results from both ground- and space-based studies at microgravity conditions. Initial considerations show that effects of buoyancy not only complicate the interpretation of observations of diffusion flames but at times mislead when such results are applied to the non-buoyant diffusion flame conditions of greatest practical interest. This behavior motivates consideration of experiments where effects of buoyancy are minimized; therefore, methods of controlling the intrusion of buoyancy during observations of non-premixed flames are described, considering approaches suitable for both normal laboratory conditions as well as classical microgravity techniques. Studies of laminar flames at low-gravity and microgravity conditions are emphasized in view of the computational tractability of such flames for developing methods of predicting flame structure as well as the relevance of such flames to more practical turbulent flames by exploiting laminar flamelet concepts.

  12. An imaging spectrometer for microgravity application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wallace K.

    1995-01-01

    Flame structure is the result of complex interaction of mechanisms operating in both unwanted fires and controlled combustion systems. The scientific study of gas-jet diffusion flames in reduced-gravity environment is of interest because the effects of buoyancy on flow entrainment and acceleration are lessened. Measurements of flames have been restricted to cinematography, thermocouples, and radiometers. SSG, Inc. is developing an MWIR imaging spectrometer (MIS) for microgravity flame measurements. The device will be delivered to NASA Lewis at the end of this project to demonstrate flame measurements in the laboratory. With proper modifications, the MIS can be used to monitor a gas-jet flame under microgravity on a NASA Learjet or DC-9.

  13. Cooperative Research Projects in the Microgravity Combustion Science Programs Sponsored by NASA and NEDO

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Howard (Compiler)

    2000-01-01

    This document contains the results of a collection of selected cooperative research projects between principal investigators in the microgravity combustion science programs, sponsored by NASA and NEDO. Cooperation involved the use of drop towers in Japan and the United States, and the sharing of subsequent research data and findings. The topical areas include: (1) Interacting droplet arrays, (2) high pressure binary fuel sprays, (3) sooting droplet combustion, (4) flammability limits and dynamics of spherical, premixed gaseous flames and, (5) ignition and transition of flame spread across thin solid fuel samples. All of the investigators view this collaboration as a success. Novel flame behaviors were found and later published in archival journals. In some cases the experiments provided verification of the design and behavior in subsequent experiments performed on the Space Shuttle. In other cases, the experiments provided guidance to experiments that are expected to be performed on the International Space Station.

  14. Selected microgravity combustion diagnostic techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Devon W.; Greenberg, Paul S.

    1993-01-01

    During FY 1989-1992, several diagnostic techniques for studying microgravity combustion have moved from the laboratory to use in reduced-gravity facilities. This paper discusses current instrumentation for rainbow schlieren deflectometry and thermophoretic sampling of soot from gas jet diffusion flames.

  15. Candle Flames in Non-Buoyant Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, D. L.; Ross, H. D.; Shu, Y.; Tien, J. S.

    1999-01-01

    This paper addresses the behavior of a candle flame in a long-duration, quiescent microgravity environment both on the space Shuttle and the Mir Orbiting Station (OS). On the Shuttle, the flames became dim blue after an initial transient where there was significant yellow (presumably soot) in the flame. The flame lifetimes were typically less than 60 seconds. The safety-mandated candlebox that contained the candle flame inhibited oxygen transport to the flame and thus limited the flame lifetime. 'Me flames on the Mir OS were similar, except that the yellow luminosity persisted longer into the flame lifetime because of a higher initial oxygen concentration. The Mir flames burned for as long as 45 minutes. The difference in the flame lifetime between the Shuttle and Mir flames was primarily the redesigned candlebox that did not inhibit oxygen transport to the flame. In both environments, the flame intensity and the height-to-width ratio gradually decreased as the ambient oxygen content in the sealed chamber slowly decreased. Both sets of experiments showed spontaneous, axisymmetric flame oscillations just prior to extinction. The paper also presents a numerical model of candle flame. The model is detailed in the gas-phase, but uses a simplified liquid/wick phase. 'Me model predicts a steady flame with a shape and size quantitatively similar to the Shuttle and Mir flames. ne model also predicts pre-extinction flame oscillations if the decrease in ambient oxygen is small enough.

  16. Tests of Flammability of Cotton Fabrics and Expected Skin Burns in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavanagh, Jane M.; Torvi, David A.; Gabriel, Kamiel S.; Ruff, Gary A.

    2004-01-01

    During a shuttle launch and other portions of space flight, astronauts wear specialized flame resistant clothing. However during most of their missions on board the Space Shuttle or International Space Station, astronauts wear ordinary clothing, such as cotton shirts and pants. As the behaviour of flames is considerably different in microgravity than under earth s gravity, fabrics are expected to burn in a different fashion in microgravity than when tested on earth. There is interest in determining how this change in burning behaviour may affect times to second and third degree burn of human skin, and how the results of standard fabric flammability tests conducted under earth s gravity correlate with the expected fire behaviour of textiles in microgravity. A new experimental apparatus was developed to fit into the Spacecraft Fire Safety Facility (SFSF), which is used on NASA s KC-135 low gravity aircraft. The new apparatus was designed to be similar to the apparatus used in standard vertical flammability tests of fabrics. However, rather than using a laboratory burner, the apparatus uses a hot wire system to ignite 200 mm high by 80 mm wide fabric specimens. Fabric temperatures are measured using thermocouples and/or an infrared imaging system, while flame spread rates are measured using real time observations or video. Heat flux gauges are placed between 7 and 13 mm away from the fabric specimen, so that heat fluxes from the burning fabric to the skin can be estimated, along with predicted times required to produce skin burns.

  17. Flow Effects on the Flammability Diagrams of Solid Fuels: Microgravity Influence on Ignition Delay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cordova, J. L.; Walther, D. C.; Fernandez-Pello, A. C.; Steinhaus, T.; Torero, J. L.; Quintere, J. G.; Ross, H. D.

    1999-01-01

    The possibility of an accidental fire in space-based facilities is a primary concern of space exploration programs. Spacecraft environments generally present low velocity air currents produced by ventilation and heating systems (of the order of 0.1 m/s), and fluctuating oxygen concentrations around that of air due to CO2 removal systems. Recent experiments of flame spread in microgravity show the spread rate to be faster and the limiting oxygen concentration lower than in normal-gravity. To date, there is not a material flammability-testing protocol that specifically addresses issues related to microgravity conditions. The present project (FIST) aims to establish a testing methodology that is suitable for the specific conditions of reduced gravity. The concepts underlying the operation of the LIFT apparatus, ASTM-E 1321-93, have been used to develop the Forced-flow Ignition and flame-Spread Test (FIST). As in the LIFT, the FIST is used to obtain the flammability diagrams of the material, i.e., graphs of ignition delay time and flame spread rate as a function of the externally applied radiant flux, but under forced flow rather than natural convection conditions, and for different oxygen concentrations. Although the flammability diagrams are similar, the flammability properties obtained with the FIST are found to depend on the flow characteristics. A research program is currently underway with the purpose of implementing the FIST as a protocol to characterize the flammability performance of solid materials to be used in microgravity facilities. To this point, tests have been performed with the FIST apparatus in both normal-gravity and microgravity conditions to determine the effects of oxidizer flow characteristics on the flammability diagrams of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) fuel samples. The experiments are conducted at reduced gravity in a KC- 135 aircraft following a parabolic flight trajectory that provides up to 25 seconds of low gravity. The objective of the

  18. Combustion and Flammability Characteristics of Solids at Microgravity in very Small Velocity Flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanchez-Tarifa, C.; Rodriguez, M.

    1999-01-01

    Fires still remain as one of the most important safety risks in manned spacecraft. This problem will become even more important in long endurance non orbital flights in which maintenance will be non existing or very difficult. The basic process of a fire is the combustion of a solid at microgravity conditions in O2/N2 mixtures. Although a large number of research programs have been carried out on this problem, especially on flame spreading, several aspects of these processes are not yet well understood. It may be mentioned, for example, the temperature and characteristic of low emissivity flames in the visual range that take place in some conditions at microgravity; and there exists a lack of knowledge on the influence of key parameters, such as convective flow velocities of the order of magnitude of typical oxygen diffusion velocities. The "Departamento de Motopropulsion y Termofluidodinamica" of the "Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronauticos" is conducting a research program on the combustion of solids at reduced gravity conditions within O2/N2 mixtures. The material utilized has been polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in the form of rectangular slabs and hollow cylinders. The main parameters of the process have been small convective flow velocities (including velocity angle with the direction of the spreading flame) and oxygen concentration. Some results have also been obtained on the influence of material thickness and gas pressure.

  19. Cool Flame Quenching

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Howard; Chapek, Richard

    2001-01-01

    Cool flame quenching distances are generally presumed to be larger than those associated with hot flames, because the quenching distance scales with the inverse of the flame propagation speed, and cool flame propagation speeds are often times slower than those associated with hot flames. To date, this presumption has never been put to a rigorous test, because unstirred, non-isothermal cool flame studies on Earth are complicated by natural convection. Moreover, the critical Peclet number (Pe) for quenching of cool flames has never been established and may not be the same as that associated with wall quenching due to conduction heat loss in hot flames, Pe approx. = 40-60. The objectives of this ground-based study are to: (1) better understand the role of conduction heat loss and species diffusion on cool flame quenching (i.e., Lewis number effects), (2) determine cool flame quenching distances (i.e, critical Peclet number, Pe) for different experimental parameters and vessel surface pretreatments, and (3) understand the mechanisms that govern the quenching distances in premixtures that support cool flames as well as hot flames induced by spark-ignition. Objective (3) poses a unique fire safety hazard if conditions exist where cool flame quenching distances are smaller than those associated with hot flames. For example, a significant, yet unexplored risk, can occur if a multi-stage ignition (a cool flame that transitions to a hot flame) occurs in a vessel size that is smaller than that associated with the hot quenching distance. To accomplish the above objectives, a variety of hydrocarbon-air mixtures will be tested in a static reactor at elevated temperature in the laboratory (1g). In addition, reactions with chemical induction times that are sufficiently short will be tested aboard NASA's KC-135 microgravity (mu-g) aircraft. The mu-g results will be compared to a numerical model that includes species diffusion, heat conduction, and a skeletal kinetic mechanism

  20. NASA Microgravity Combustion Science Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Merrill K.

    1999-01-01

    by gravity, allowing major strides in our understanding of combustion processes and in subsequent development of improved combustion devices leading to improved quality of life on Earth. Fire and/or explosion events aboard spacecraft could be devastating to international efforts to expand the human presence in space. Testing to date has shown that ignition and flame spread on fuel surfaces (e.g., paper, wire insulation) behave quite differently under partial gravity and microgravity conditions. In addition, fire signatures-i.e., heat release, smoke production, flame visibility, and radiation-are now known to be quite different in reduced gravity environments; this research has provided data to improve the effectiveness of fire prevention practices, smoke and fire detectors, and fire extinguishment systems. The more we can apply our scientific and technological understanding to potential fire behavior in microgravity and partial gravity, the more assurance can be given to those people whose lives depend on the environment aboard spacecraft or eventually on habitats on the Moon or Mars.

  1. A Series of Laminar Jet Flame

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Study of the downlink data from the Laminar Soot Processes (LSP) experiment quickly resulted in discovery of a new mechanism of flame extinction caused by radiation of soot. Scientists found that the flames emit soot sooner than expected. These findings have direct impact on spacecraft fire safety, as well as the theories predicting the formation of soot -- which is a major factor as a pollutant and in the spread of unwanted fires. This sequence, using propane fuel, was taken STS-94, July 4 1997, MET:2/05:30 (approximate). LSP investigated fundamental questions regarding soot, a solid byproduct of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. The experiment was performed using a laminar jet diffusion flame, which is created by simply flowing fuel-like ethylene or propane -- through a nozzle and igniting it, much like a butane cigarette lighter. The LSP principal investigator was Gerard Faeth, University of Michigan, Arn Arbor. The experiment was part of the space research investigations conducted during the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1R mission (STS-94, July 1-17 1997). LSP results led to a reflight for extended investigations on the STS-107 research mission in January 2003. Advanced combustion experiments will be a part of investigations planned for the International Space Station. (249KB JPEG, 1350 x 1524 pixels; downlinked video, higher quality not available) The MPG from which this composite was made is available at http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/MSFC-0300185.html.

  2. Effects of Flame Structure and Hydrodynamics on Soot Particle Inception and Flame Extinction in Diffusion Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Axelbaum, R. L.; Chen, R.; Sunderland, P. B.; Urban, D. L.; Liu, S.; Chao, B. H.

    2001-01-01

    This paper summarizes recent studies of the effects of stoichiometric mixture fraction (structure) and hydrodynamics on soot particle inception and flame extinction in diffusion flames. Microgravity experiments are uniquely suited for these studies because, unlike normal gravity experiments, they allow structural and hydrodynamic effects to be independently studied. As part of this recent flight definition program, microgravity studies have been performed in the 2.2 second drop tower. Normal gravity counterflow studies also have been employed and analytical and numerical models have been developed. A goal of this program is to develop sufficient understanding of the effects of flame structure that flames can be "designed" to specifications - consequently, the program name Flame Design. In other words, if a soot-free, strong, low temperature flame is required, can one produce such a flame by designing its structure? Certainly, as in any design, there will be constraints imposed by the properties of the available "materials." For hydrocarbon combustion, the base materials are fuel and air. Additives could be considered, but for this work only fuel, oxygen and nitrogen are considered. Also, the structure of these flames is "designed" by varying the stoichiometric mixture fraction. Following this line of reasoning, the studies described are aimed at developing the understanding of flame structure that is needed to allow for optimum design.

  3. Coupling of wrinkled laminar flames with gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedat, Benoit; Kostiuk, Larry W.; Cheng, Robert K.

    1995-01-01

    The overall objective of our research is to understand flame-gravity coupling processes in laminar and low turbulent Reynolds number, Re(sub l), premixed flames (i.e. wrinkled- laminar flames). The approach we have developed is to compare the flowfields and mean flame properties under different gravitational orientations. Key to our study is the investigation of microgravity (mu g) flames. These mu g experiments provide vital information to reconcile the differences between flames in normal gravity (+g, flame pointing upward) and reverse gravity (-g, flame pointing downwards). Traditionally, gravity effects are assumed to be insignificant or circumvented in the laboratory, therefore, not much is available in the literature on the behavior of -g flames.

  4. Computational modeling of flow and combustion in a couette channel simulating microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamdan, Ghaleb

    Theoretically a Couette flow in a narrow channel can be utilized to simulate microgravity conditions experienced by a surface flame due to the linear velocity profile. Hence, the Couette channel is a potential apparatus for the study of flame spread in an environment that recreated microgravity flow conditions. Simulated microgravity conditions were achieved by limiting the vertical extent over and under the flame to suppress buoyancy. This numerical study was done for a 2-D channel using Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS). This thesis is divided into two sections; the first is the study of Couette flow with a non-reacting cold flow in a finite length channel, a subject with surprisingly little past research, despite the ubiquity of "infinite" Couette channels in text books. The channel was placed in a room to allow for a better representation of a realistic channel and allow the flow and pressure field to develop without forcing them at the inlet and outlet. The plate's velocities, channel's gap and the channel's length were varied and the results of the u-velocity profile, w-velocity profile and pressure were investigated. The entrance length relationship with Reynolds number for a finite Couette Channel was determined for the first time - as far as the author knows - in order to ensure the flame occurs in a fully developed flow. In contrast to an infinite channel, the u-velocity was found to be nonlinear due to an adverse pressure differential created along the channel attributed to the pull force along the entrance of the channel created by the top plate a well as the pressure differential created by the flow exiting the channel. The linearity constant was derived for the one moving plate case. The domain consisted of a rectangular region with the top plate moving and the bottom plate fixed except for a few cases in which the bottom plate also moved and were compared with only one moving plate. The second section describes the combustion of a thin cellulose sample

  5. Detailed Multidimensional Simulations of the Structure and Dynamics of Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patnaik, G.; Kailasanath, K.

    1999-01-01

    Numerical simulations in which the various physical and chemical processes can be independently controlled can significantly advance our understanding of the structure, stability, dynamics and extinction of flames. Therefore, our approach has been to use detailed time-dependent, multidimensional, multispecies numerical models to perform carefully designed computational experiments of flames on Earth and in microgravity environments. Some of these computational experiments are complementary to physical experiments performed under the Microgravity Program while others provide a fundamental understanding that cannot be obtained from physical experiments alone. In this report, we provide a brief summary of our recent research highlighting the contributions since the previous microgravity combustion workshop. There are a number of mechanisms that can cause flame instabilities and result in the formation of dynamic multidimensional structures. In the past, we have used numerical simulations to show that it is the thermo-diffusive instability rather than an instability due to preferential diffusion that is the dominant mechanism for the formation of cellular flames in lean hydrogen-air mixtures. Other studies have explored the role of gravity on flame dynamics and extinguishment, multi-step kinetics and radiative losses on flame instabilities in rich hydrogen-air flames, and heat losses on burner-stabilized flames in microgravity. The recent emphasis of our work has been on exploring flame-vortex interactions and further investigating the structure and dynamics of lean hydrogen-air flames in microgravity. These topics are briefly discussed after a brief discussion of our computational approach for solving these problems.

  6. Candle Flames in Non-Buoyant Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dietrich, D. L.; Ross, H. D.; Shu, Y.; Chang, P.; Tien, J. S.

    2000-01-01

    This paper addresses the behavior of a candle flame in a long-duration, quiescent microgravity environment both on the space Shuttle and the Mir Orbiting Station. On the Shuttle, the flames became dim blue after an initial transient where there was significant yellow (presumably soot) in the flame. The flame lifetimes were typically less than 60 seconds. The safety-mandated candlebox that contained the candle flame inhibited oxygen transport to the flame and thus limited the flame lifetime. The flames on the Mir were similar, except that the yellow luminosity persisted longer into the flame lifetime because of a higher initial oxygen concentration, The Mir flames burned for as long as 45 minutes. The difference in the flame lifetime between the Shuttle and Mir flames was primarily the redesigned candlebox that did not inhibit oxygen transport to the flame. In both environments, the flame intensity and the height-to-width ratio gradually decreased as the ambient oxygen content in the sealed chamber slowly decreased. Both sets of experiments showed spontaneous, axisymmetric flame oscillations just prior to extinction. The paper also presents a numerical model of a candle flame. The formulation is two-dimensional and time-dependent in the gas phase with constant specific heats, thermal conductivity and Lewis number (although different species can have different Lewis numbers), one-step finite-rate kinetics, and gas-phase radiative losses from CO2 and H2O. The treatment of the liquid/wick phase assumes that the, fuel evaporates from a constant diameter sphere connected to an inert cone. The model predicts a steady flame with a shape and size quantitatively similar to the Shuttle and Mir flames. The computation predicts that the flame size will increase slightly with increasing ambient oxygen mole fraction. The model also predicts pre-extinction flame oscillations if the rate of decrease in ambient oxygen is small enough, such as that which would occur for a flame

  7. Particle cloud mixing in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, H.; Facca, L.; Tangirala, V.; Berlad, A. L.

    1989-01-01

    Quasi-steady flame propagation through clouds of combustible particles requires quasi-steady transport properties and quasi-steady particle number density. Microgravity conditions may be employed to help achieve the conditions of quiescent, uniform clouds needed for such combustion studies. Joint experimental and theoretical NASA-UCSD studies were concerned with the use of acoustic, electrostatic, and other methods of dispersion of fuel particulates. Results of these studies are presented for particle clouds in long cylindrical tubes.

  8. Multiphase combustion experimentation in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berlad, A. L.

    1983-01-01

    This paper examines the need for and implementation of microgravity combustion studies of two phase media. Experimental and analytical aspects of several heterogeneous kinetic systems are discussed. These include: flame propagation and extinction for quiescent clouds of uniformly premixed fuel particulates in an oxidizing atmosphere; autoignition of clouds of uniformly premixed fuel particulates in a quiescent oxidizing atmosphere; and the roles of catalytically significant surfaces in gaseous autoignition processes.

  9. Turbulent Flames in Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khokhlov, A. M.

    1994-05-01

    First results of three-dimensional simulations of a thermonuclear flame in Type Ia supernovae are obtained using a new flame-capturing algorithm, and a PPM hydrodynamical code. In the absence of gravity, the flame is stabilized with respect to the Landau (1944) instability due to the difference in the behaviour of convex and concave portions of the perturbed flame front. The transition to turbulence in supernovae occurs on scales =~ 0.1 - 10 km in agreement with the non-linear estimate lambda =~ 2pi D(2_l/geff) based on the Zeldovich (1966) model for a perturbed flame when the gravity acceleration increases; D_l is the normal speed of the laminar flame, and geff is the effective acceleration. The turbulent flame is mainly spread by large scale motions driven by the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Small scale turbulence facilitates rapid incineration of the fuel left behind the front. The turbulent flame speed D_t approaches D_t =~ U', where U' is the root mean square velocity of turbulent motions, when the turbulent flame forgets initial conditions and reaches a steady state. The results indicate that in a steady state the turbulent flame speed should be independent of the normal laminar flame speed D_l. The three-dimensional results are in sharp contrast with the results of previous two-dimensional simulations which underestimate flame speed due to the lack of turbulent cascade directed in three dimensions from big to small spatial scales. The work was supported by the NSF grants AST 92-18035 and AST 93-005P.

  10. Diffusion Flame Stabilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takahashi, Fumiaki; Katta, V. R.

    2006-01-01

    Diffusion flames are commonly used for industrial burners in furnaces and flares. Oxygen/fuel burners are usually diffusion burners, primarily for safety reasons, to prevent flashback and explosion in a potentially dangerous system. Furthermore, in most fires, condensed materials pyrolyze, vaporize, and burn in air as diffusion flames. As a result of the interaction of a diffusion flame with burner or condensed-fuel surfaces, a quenched space is formed, thus leaving a diffusion flame edge, which plays an important role in flame holding in combustion systems and fire spread through condensed fuels. Despite a long history of jet diffusion flame studies, lifting/blowoff mechanisms have not yet been fully understood, compared to those of premixed flames. In this study, the structure and stability of diffusion flames of gaseous hydrocarbon fuels in coflowing air at normal earth gravity have been investigated experimentally and computationally. Measurements of the critical mean jet velocity (U(sub jc)) of methane, ethane, or propane at lifting or blowoff were made as a function of the coflowing air velocity (U(sub a)) using a tube burner (i.d.: 2.87 mm). By using a computational fluid dynamics code with 33 species and 112 elementary reaction steps, the internal chemical-kinetic structures of the stabilizing region of methane and propane flames were investigated. A peak reactivity spot, i.e., reaction kernel, is formed in the flame stabilizing region due to back-diffusion of heat and radical species against an oxygen-rich incoming flow, thus holding the trailing diffusion flame. The simulated flame base moved downstream under flow conditions close to the measured stability limit.

  11. Diffusion Flame Stabilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takahashi, Fumiaki; Katta, Viswanath R.

    2007-01-01

    Diffusion flames are commonly used for industrial burners in furnaces and flares. Oxygen/fuel burners are usually diffusion burners, primarily for safety reasons, to prevent flashback and explosion in a potentially dangerous system. Furthermore, in most fires, condensed materials pyrolyze, vaporize, and burn in air as diffusion flames. As a result of the interaction of a diffusion flame with burner or condensed-fuel surfaces, a quenched space is formed, thus leaving a diffusion flame edge, which plays an important role in flame holding in combustion systems and fire spread through condensed fuels. Despite a long history of jet diffusion flame studies, lifting/blowoff mechanisms have not yet been fully understood, compared to those of premixed flames. In this study, the structure and stability of diffusion flames of gaseous hydrocarbon fuels in coflowing air at normal earth gravity have been investigated experimentally and computationally. Measurements of the critical mean jet velocity (U(sub jc)) of methane, ethane, or propane at lifting or blowoff were made as a function of the coflowing air velocity (U(sub a)) using a tube burner (i.d.: 2.87 mm) (Fig. 1, left). By using a computational fluid dynamics code with 33 species and 112 elementary reaction steps, the internal chemical-kinetic structures of the stabilizing region of methane and propane flames were investigated (Fig. 1, right). A peak reactivity spot, i.e., reaction kernel, is formed in the flame stabilizing region due to back-diffusion of heat and radical species against an oxygen-rich incoming flow, thus holding the trailing diffusion flame. The simulated flame base moved downstream under flow conditions close to the measured stability limit.

  12. Radiative Heat Loss Measurements During Microgravity Droplet Combustion in a Slow Convective Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hicks, Michael C.; Kaib, Nathan; Easton, John; Nayagam, Vedha; Williams, Forman A.

    2003-01-01

    Radiative heat loss from burning droplets in a slow convective flow under microgravity conditions is measured using a broad-band (0.6 to 40 microns) radiometer. In addition, backlit images of the droplet as well as color images of the flame were obtained using CCD cameras to estimate the burning rates and the flame dimensions, respectively. Tests were carried out in air at atmospheric pressure using n-heptane and methanol fuels with imposed forced flow velocities varied from 0 to 10 centimeters per second and initial droplet diameters varied from 1 to 3 millimeters. Slow convective flows were generated using three different experimental configurations in three different facilities in preparation for the proposed International Space Station droplet experiments. In the 2.2 Second Drop-Tower Facility a droplet supported on the leading edge of a quartz fiber is placed within a flow tunnel supplied by compressed air. In the Zero-Gravity Facility (five-second drop tower) a tethered droplet is translated in a quiescent ambient atmosphere to establish a uniform flow field around the droplet. In the KC 135 aircraft an electric fan was used to draw a uniform flow past a tethered droplet. Experimental results show that the burn rate increases and the overall flame size decreases with increases in forced-flow velocities over the range of flow velocities and droplet sizes tested. The total radiative heat loss rate, Q(sub r), decreases as the imposed flow velocity increases with the spherically symmetric combustion having the highest values. These observations are in contrast to the trends observed for gas-jet flames in microgravity, but consistent with the observations during flame spread over solid fuels where the burning rate is coupled to the forced flow as here.

  13. Soot Formation in Purely-Curved Premixed Flames and Laminar Flame Speeds of Soot-Forming Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buchanan, Thomas; Wang, Hai

    2005-01-01

    The research addressed here is a collaborative project between University of Delaware and Case Western Reserve University. There are two basic and related scientific objectives. First, we wish to demonstrate the suitability of spherical/cylindrical, laminar, premixed flames in the fundamental study of the chemical and physical processes of soot formation. Our reasoning is that the flame standoff distance in spherical/cylindrical flames under microgravity can be substantially larger than that in a flat burner-stabilized flame. Therefore the spherical/cylindrical flame is expected to give better spatial resolution to probe the soot inception and growth chemistry than flat flames. Second, we wish to examine the feasibility of determining the laminar flame speed of soot forming flames. Our basic assumption is that under the adiabatic condition (in the absence of conductive heat loss), the amount and dynamics of soot formed in the flame is unique for a given fuel/air mixture. The laminar flame speed can be rigorously defined as long as the radiative heat loss can be determined. This laminar flame speed characterizes the flame soot formation and dynamics in addition to the heat release rate. The research involves two integral parts: experiments of spherical and cylindrical sooting flames in microgravity (CWRU), and the computational counterpart (UD) that aims to simulate sooting laminar flames, and the sooting limits of near adiabatic flames. The computations work is described in this report, followed by a summary of the accomplishments achieved to date. Details of the microgra+ experiments will be discussed in a separate, final report prepared by the co-PI, Professor C-J. Sung of CWRU. Here only a brief discussion of these experiments will be given.

  14. The Structure and Stability of Laminar Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buckmaster, John

    1993-01-01

    This review paper on the structure and stability of laminar flames considers such phenomena as heterogeneous mixtures, acoustic instabilities, flame balls and related phenomena, radiation effects, the iodate oxidation of arsenous acid and 'liquid flame fronts', approximate kinetic mechanisms and asymptotic approximations, and tribrachial or triple flames. The topics examined here indicate three themes that may play an important role in laminar flame theory in the coming years: microgravity experiments, kinetic modeling, and turbulence modeling. In the discussion of microgravity experiments it is pointed out that access to drop towers, the Space Shuttle and, in due course, the Space Station Freedom will encourage the development of experiments well designed to isolate the fundamental physics of combustion.

  15. Tests of Flammability of Cotton Fabrics and Expected Skin Burns in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavanagh, Jane M.; Torvi, David A.; Gabriel, Kamiel S.; Ruff, Gary A.

    2004-01-01

    During a shuttle launch and other portions of space flight, astronauts wear specialized flame resistant clothing. However during most of their missions on board the Space Shuttle or International Space Station, astronauts wear ordinary clothing, such as cotton shirts and pants. As the behaviour of flames is considerably different in microgravity than under earth's gravity, fabrics are expected to burn in a different fashion in microgravity than when tested on earth. There is interest in determining how this change in burning behaviour may affect times to second and third degree burn of human skin, and how the results of standard fabric flammability tests conducted under earth's gravity correlate with the expected fire behaviour of textiles in microgravity. A new experimental apparatus was developed to fit into the Spacecraft Fire Safety Facility (SFSF), which is used on NASA's KC-135 low gravity aircraft. The new apparatus was designed to be similar to the apparatus used in standard vertical flammability tests of fabrics. However, rather than using a laboratory burner, the apparatus uses a hot wire system to ignite 200 mm high by 80 mm wide fabric specimens. Fabric temperatures are measured using thermocouples and/or an infrared imaging system, while flame spread rates are measured using real time observations or video. Heat flux gauges are placed between 7 and 13 mm away from the fabric specimen, so that heat fluxes from the burning fabric to the skin can be estimated, along with predicted times required to produce skin burns. In November of 2003, this new apparatus was used on the KC-135 aircraft to test cotton and cotton/polyester blend fabric specimens in microgravity. These materials were also been tested using the same apparatus in 1-g, and using a standard vertical flammability test that utilizes a flame. In this presentation, the design of the test apparatus will be briefly described. Examples of results from the KC-135 tests will be provided, including

  16. PIV Measurements in Weakly Buoyant Gas Jet Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sunderland, Peter B.; Greenbberg, Paul S.; Urban, David L.; Wernet, Mark P.; Yanis, William

    2001-01-01

    Despite numerous experimental investigations, the characterization of microgravity laminar jet diffusion flames remains incomplete. Measurements to date have included shapes, temperatures, soot properties, radiative emissions and compositions, but full-field quantitative measurements of velocity are lacking. Since the differences between normal-gravity and microgravity diffusion flames are fundamentally influenced by changes in velocities, it is imperative that the associated velocity fields be measured in microgravity flames. Velocity measurements in nonbuoyant flames will be helpful both in validating numerical models and in interpreting past microgravity combustion experiments. Pointwise velocity techniques are inadequate for full-field velocity measurements in microgravity facilities. In contrast, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) can capture the entire flow field in less than 1% of the time required with Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV). Although PIV is a mature diagnostic for normal-gravity flames , restrictions on size, power and data storage complicate these measurements in microgravity. Results from the application of PIV to gas jet flames in normal gravity are presented here. Ethane flames burning at 13, 25 and 50 kPa are considered. These results are presented in more detail in Wernet et al. (2000). The PIV system developed for these measurements recently has been adapted for on-rig use in the NASA Glenn 2.2-second drop tower.

  17. Field Effects of Buoyancy on a Premixed Turbulent Flame Studied by Particle Image Velocimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, Robert K.

    2003-01-01

    Typical laboratory flames for the scientific investigation of flame/turbulence interactions are prone to buoyancy effects. Buoyancy acts on these open flame systems and provides upstream feedbacks that control the global flame properties as well as local turbulence/flame interactions. Consequently the flame structures, stabilization limits, and turbulent reaction rates are directly or indirectly coupled with buoyancy. The objective of this study is to characterize the differences between premixed turbulent flames pointing upwards (1g), pointing downwards (-1g), and in microgravity (mg). The configuration is an inverted conical flame stabilized by a small cone-shaped bluff body that we call CLEAN Flames (Cone-Stabilized Lean Flames). We use two laser diagnostics to capture the velocity and scalar fields. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) measures the mean and root mean square velocities and planar imaging by the flame fronts method outlines the flame wrinkle topology. The results were obtained under typical conditions of small domestic heating systems such as water heaters, ovens, and furnaces. Significant differences between the 1g and -1g flames point to the need for including buoyancy contributions in theoretical and numerical calculations. In Earth gravity, there is a complex coupling of buoyancy with the turbulent flow and heat release in the flame. An investigation of buoyancy-free flames in microgravity will provide the key to discern gravity contributions. Data obtained in microgravity flames will provide the benchmark for interpreting and analyzing 1g and -1g flame results.

  18. Combustion of Gaseous Fuels with High Temperature Air in Normal- and Micro-gravity Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Y.; Gupta, A. K.

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this study is determine the effect of air preheat temperature on flame characteristics in normal and microgravity conditions. We have obtained qualitative (global flame features) and some quantitative information on the features of flames using high temperature combustion air under normal gravity conditions with propane and methane as the fuels. This data will be compared with the data under microgravity conditions. The specific focus under normal gravity conditions has been on determining the global flame features as well as the spatial distribution of OH, CH, and C2 from flames using high temperature combustion air at different equivalence ratio.

  19. Structure of Flame Balls at Low Lewis-Number

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weiland, Karen J.; Ronney, Paul

    1998-01-01

    The Structure of Flame Balls at Low Lewis-Number (SOFBALL) experiment explored the behavior of a newly discovered flame phenomena called "flame balls." These spherical, stable, stationary flame structures, observed only in microgravity, provide a unique opportunity to study the interactions of the two most important processes necessary for combustion (chemical reaction and heat and mass transport) in the simplest possible configuration. The previously unobtainable experimental data provided a comparison with models of flame stability and flame propagation limits that are crucial both in assessing fire safety and in designing efficient, clean-burning combustion engines.

  20. The Effects of Gravity on Wrinkled Laminar Flames

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kostiuk, Larry W.; Zhou, Liming; Cheng, Robert K.

    1993-01-01

    The effects of gravity are significant to the dynamics of idealized unconfined open premixed flames. Moderate to low turbulence Reynolds number flames, i.e., wrinkled laminar flames, of various unconfined geometries have been used extensively for investigating fundamental processes of turbulent flame propagation and to validate theoretical models. Without the wall constraints, the flames are free to expand and interact with surrounding ambient air. The flow field in which the flame exists is determined by a coupling of burner geometry, flame orientation and the gravity field. These complex interactions raise serious questions regarding the validity of comparing the experimental data of open flames with current theoretical and numerical models that do not include the effects of gravity nor effects of the larger aerodynamic flowfield. Therefore, studies of wrinkled laminar flame in microgravity are needed for a better understanding of the role of gravity on flame characteristics such as the orientation, mean aerodynamics stretch, flame wrinkle size and burning rate. Our approach to characterize and quantify turbulent flame structures under microgravity is to exploit qualitative and quantitative flow visualization techniques coupled with video recording and computer controlled image analysis technologies. The experiments will be carried out in the 2.2 second drop tower at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The longest time scales of typical wrinkled laminar flames in the geometries considered here are in the order of 10 msec. Hence, the duration of the drop is sufficient to obtain the amount of statistical data necessary for characterize turbulent flame structures.

  1. Flame and Soot Boundaries of Laminar Jet Diffusion Flames. Appendix A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xu, F.; Dai, Z.; Faeth, G. M.; Yuan, Z.-G. (Technical Monitor); Urban, D. L. (Technical Monitor); Yuan, Z.-G. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The shapes (flame-sheet and luminous-flame boundaries) or steady weakly buoyant round hydrocarbon-fueled laminar-jet diffusion flames in still and coflowing air were studied both experimentally and theoretically. Flame-sheet shapes were measured from photographs using a CH optical filter to distinguish flame-sheet boundaries in the presence of blue CO2 and OH emissions and yellow continuum radiation from soot. Present experimental conditions included acetylene-, methane-, propane-, and ethylene-fueled flames having initial reactant temperatures of 300 K. ambient pressures of 4-50 kPa, jet-exit Reynolds numbers of 3-54, initial air/fuel velocity ratios of 0-9, and luminous flame lengths of 5-55 mm; earlier measurements for propylene- and 1,3-butadiene-fueled flames for similar conditions were considered as well. Nonbuoyant flames in still air were observed at microgravity conditions; essentially nonbuoyant flames in coflowing air were observed at small pressures to control effects of buoyancy. Predictions of luminous flame boundaries from soot luminosity were limited to laminar smoke-point conditions, whereas predictions of flame-sheet boundaries ranged from soot-free to smoke-point conditions. Flame-shape predictions were based on simplified analyses using the boundary-layer approximations along with empirical parameters to distinguish flame-sheet and luminous-flame (at the laminar smoke point) boundaries. The comparison between measurements and predictions was remarkably good and showed that both flame-sheet and luminous-flame lengths are primarily controlled by fuel flow rates with lengths in coflowing air approaching 2/3 of the lengths in still air as coflowing air velocities are increased. Finally, luminous flame lengths at laminar smoke-point conditions were roughly twice as long as flame-sheet lengths at comparable conditions because of the presence of luminous soot particles in the fuel-lean region of the flames.

  2. Hyperspectral Infrared Imaging of Flames Using a Spectrally Scanning Fabry-Perot Filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rawlins, W. T.; Lawrence, W. G.; Marinelli, W. J.; Allen, M. G.; Piltch, N. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The temperatures and compositions of gases in and around flames can be diagnosed using infrared emission spectroscopy to observe molecular band shapes and intensities. We have combined this approach with a low-order scanning Fabry-Perot filter and an infrared camera to obtain spectrally scanned infrared emission images of a laboratory flame and exhaust plume from 3.7 to 5.0 micrometers, at a spectral resolution of 0.043 micrometers, and a spatial resolution of 1 mm. The scanning filter or AIRIS (Adaptive Infrared Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a Fabry-Perot etalon operating in low order (mirror spacing = wavelength) such that the central spot, containing a monochromatic image of the scene, is viewed by the detector array. The detection system is a 128 x 128 liquid-nitrogen-cooled InSb focal plane array. The field of view is controlled by a 50 mm focal length multielement lens and an V4.8 aperture, resulting in an image 6.4 x 6.4 cm in extent at the flame and a depth of field of approximately 4 cm. Hyperspectral images above a laboratory CH4/air flame show primarily the strong emission from CO2 at 4.3 micrometers, and weaker emissions from CO and H2O. We discuss techniques to analyze the spectra, and plans to use this instrument in microgravity flame spread experiments.

  3. Microgravity Manufacturing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Ken; Munafo, Paul M. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Manufacturing capability in outer space remains one of the critical milestones to surpass to allow humans to conduct long-duration manned space exploration. The high cost-to-orbit for leaving the Earth's gravitational field continues to be the limiting factor in carrying sufficient hardware to maintain extended life support in microgravity or on other planets. Additive manufacturing techniques, or 'chipless' fabrication, like RP are being considered as the most promising technologies for achieving in situ or remote processing of hardware components, as well as for the repair of existing hardware. At least three RP technologies are currently being explored for use in microgravity and extraterrestrial fabrication.

  4. Oscillating edge-flames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckmaster, J.; Zhang, Yi

    1999-09-01

    It has been known for some years that when a near-limit flame spreads over a liquid pool of fuel, the edge of the flame can oscillate. It is also known that when a near-asphyxiated candle-flame burns in zero gravity, the edge of the (hemispherical) flame can oscillate violently prior to extinction. We propose that these oscillations are nothing more than a manifestation of the large Lewis number instability well known in chemical reactor studies and in combustion studies, one that is exacerbated by heat losses. As evidence of this we examine an edge-flame confined within a fuel-supply boundary and an oxygen-supply boundary, anchored by a discontinuity in data at the fuel-supply boundary. We show that when the Lewis number of the fuel is 2, and the Lewis number of the oxidizer is 1, oscillations of the edge occur when the Damköhler number is reduced below a critical value. During a single oscillation period there is a short premixed propagation stage and a long diffusion stage, behaviour that has been observed in flame spread experiments. Oscillations do not occur when both Lewis numbers are equal to 1.

  5. Gravitational Effects on Cellular Flame Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunsky, C. M.; Fernandez-Pello, A. C.

    1991-01-01

    An experimental investigation has been conducted of the effect of gravity on the structure of downwardly propagating, cellular premixed propane-oxygen-nitrogen flames anchored on a water-cooled porous-plug burner. The flame is subjected to microgravity conditions in the NASA Lewis 2.2-second drop tower, and flame characteristics are recorded on high-speed film. These are compared to flames at normal gravity conditions with the same equivalence ratio, dilution index, mixture flow rate, and ambient pressure. The results show that the cellular instability band, which is located in the rich mixture region, changes little under the absence of gravity. Lifted normal-gravity flames near the cellular/lifted limits, however, are observed to become cellular when gravity is reduced. Observations of a transient cell growth period following ignition point to heat loss as being an important mechanism in the overall flame stability, dominating the stabilizing effect of buoyancy for these downwardly-propagating burner-anchored flames. The pulsations that are observed in the plume and diffusion flame generated downstream of the premixed flame in the fuel rich cases disappear in microgravity, verifying that these fluctuations are gravity related.

  6. Triple flames and flame stabilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Broadwell, James E.

    1994-01-01

    It is now well established that when turbulent jet flames are lifted, combustion begins, i.e., the flame is stabilized, at an axial station where the fuel and air are partially premixed. One might expect, therefore, that the beginning of the combustion zone would be a triple flame. Such flames have been described; however, other experiments provide data that are difficult to reconcile with the presence of triple flames. In particular, laser images of CH and OH, marking combustion zones, do not exhibit shapes typical of triple flames, and, more significantly, the lifted flame appears to have a propagation speed that is an order of magnitude higher than the laminar flame speed. The speed of triple flames studied thus far exceeds the laminar value by a factor less than two. The objective of the present task is the resolution of the apparent conflict between the experiments and the triple flame characteristics, and the clarification of the mechanisms controlling flame stability. Being investigated are the resolution achieved in the experiments, the flow field in the neighborhood of the stabilization point, propagation speeds of triple flames, laboratory flame unsteadiness, and the importance of flame ignition limits in the calculation of triple flames that resemble lifted flames.

  7. Transient pool boiling in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ervin, J. S.; Merte, H., Jr.; Keller, R. B.; Kirk, K.

    1992-01-01

    Transient nucleate pool boiling experiments using R113 are conducted for short times in microgravity and in earth gravity with different heater surface orientations and subcoolings. The heating surface is a transparent gold film sputtered on a quartz substrate, which simultaneously provides surface temperature measurements and permits viewing of the boiling process from beneath. For the microgravity experiments, which have uniform initial temperatures and no fluid motion, the temperature distribution in the R 113 at the moment of boiling inception is known. High speed cameras with views both across and through the heating surface record the boiling spread across the heater surface, which is classified into six distinct categories.

  8. Propagation of a Free Flame in a Turbulent Gas Stream

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mickelsen, William R; Ernstein, Norman E

    1956-01-01

    Effective flame speeds of free turbulent flames were measured by photographic, ionization-gap, and photomultiplier-tube methods, and were found to have a statistical distribution attributed to the nature of the turbulent field. The effective turbulent flame speeds for the free flame were less than those previously measured for flames stabilized on nozzle burners, Bunsen burners, and bluff bodies. The statistical spread of the effective turbulent flame speeds was markedly wider in the lean and rich fuel-air-ratio regions, which might be attributed to the greater sensitivity of laminar flame speed to flame temperature in those regions. Values calculated from the turbulent free-flame-speed analysis proposed by Tucker apparently form upper limits for the statistical spread of free-flame-speed data. Hot-wire anemometer measurements of the longitudinal velocity fluctuation intensity and longitudinal correlation coefficient were made and were employed in the comparison of data and in the theoretical calculation of turbulent flame speed.

  9. Laminar Soot Processes Experiment Shedding Light on Flame Radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urban, David L.

    1998-01-01

    The Laminar Soot Processes (LSP) experiment investigated soot processes in nonturbulent, round gas jet diffusion flames in still air. The soot processes within these flames are relevant to practical combustion in aircraft propulsion systems, diesel engines, and furnaces. However, for the LSP experiment, the flames were slowed and spread out to allow measurements that are not tractable for practical, Earth-bound flames.

  10. Replication Experiments in Microgravity Liquid Phase Sintering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    German, Randall M.; Johnson, John L.

    2016-05-01

    Although considerable experience exists with sintering on Earth, the behavior under reduced gravity conditions is poorly understood. This study analyzes replica microgravity liquid phase sintering data for seven tungsten alloys (35 to 88 wt pct tungsten) sintered for three hold times (1, 180, or 600 minutes) at 1773 K (1500 °C) using 0.002 pct of standard gravity. Equivalent sintering is performed on Earth using the same heating cycles. Microgravity sintering results in a lower density and more shape distortion. For Earth-based sintering, minimized distortion is associated with low liquid contents to avoid solid settling and slumping. Distortion in microgravity sintering involves viscous spreading of the component at points of contact with the containment crucible. Distortion in microgravity is minimized by short hold times; long hold times allow progressive component reshaping toward a spherical shape. Microgravity sintering also exhibits pore coalescence into large, stable voids that cause component swelling. The microgravity sintering results show good replication in terms of mass change and sintered density. Distortion is scattered but statistically similar between the replica microgravity runs. However, subtle factors, not typically of concern on Earth, emerge to influence microgravity sintering, such that ground experiments do not provide a basis to predict microgravity behavior.