Opposed-flow flame spread over solid fuels in microgravity: the effect of confined spaces

Wang, Shuangfeng, Hu, Jun, Xiao, Yuan, Ren, Tan, and Zhu, Feng (2015) Opposed-flow flame spread over solid fuels in microgravity: the effect of confined spaces. Microgravity Science and Technology, 27 (5). pp. 329-336.

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Effects of confined spaces on flame spread over thin solid fuels in a low-speed opposing flow is investigated by combined use of microgravity experiments and computations. The flame behaviors are observed to depend strongly on the height of the flow tunnel. In particular, a non-monotonic trend of flame spread rate versus tunnel height is found, with the fastest flame occurring in the 3 cm high tunnel. The flame length and the total heat release rate from the flame also change with tunnel height, and a faster flame has a larger length and a higher heat release rate. The computation analyses indicate that a confined space modifies the flow around the spreading flame. The confinement restricts the thermal expansion and accelerates the flow in the streamwise direction. Above the flame, the flow deflects back from the tunnel wall. This inward flow pushes the flame towards the fuel surface, and increases oxygen transport into the flame. Such a flow modification explains the variations of flame spread rate and flame length with tunnel height. The present results suggest that the confinement effects on flame behavior in microgravity should be accounted to assess accurately the spacecraft fire hazard.

Item ID: 44373
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1875-0494
Keywords: flame spread; solid fuel; confined space; microgravity
Funders: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Projects and Grants: CAS XDA04020410
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 02:55
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0901 Aerospace Engineering > 090108 Satellite, Space Vehicle and Missile Design and Testing @ 20%
02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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