Microgravity Science and Technology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 331–338 | Cite as

Effects of Gravity on Ignition and Combustion Characteristics of Externally Heated Polyethylene Film

  • Mitsumasa IkedaEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Asian Microgravity Research in Physics, Materials and Life Science


The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of gravity on the ignition and the combustion characteristics of the Polyethylene (PE) film by outer heating. Combustion experiments of PE film were carried out in a normal gravity field and the microgravity field. In the microgravity experiments, it was carried out in 50 m-class drop facility. Here it can be realized 10− 4G microgravity field in about 2.5-3.0 second. The PE film is heated by the inserted high-temperature chamber. In the experiments, the PE was used film type. The chamber temperature was fixed at 900 K and 1000 K. In the case of microgravity field, the ignition delay period has become about 50 percent shorter than that in the case of the normal gravitational field. In the normal gravity field, since the PE surface layer is cooled by natural convection, the ignition delay period is considered to be longer than that in the microgravity field. The combustion time in the normal gravity was about 0.8 sec. In the microgravity field, the combustion time was more than 2 sec, and it could not be measured during the free fall period.


Polyethylene film Externally heated Ignition characteristics Combustion characteristics Effects of natural convection 



Authors would like to acknowledge JAPAN POLYETHYLENE CORPORATION for providing PE films, and “Cosmotorre” in the Uematsu Electric Co. Ltd. for implementation the drop test.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Electrical EngineeringNational Institute of Technology, Tokuyama CollegeShunanJapan

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