Effect of ambient pressure and radiation reabsorption of atmosphere on the flame spreading over thermally thin combustibles in microgravity

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Abstract

For the flame spread over thermally thin combustibles in an atmosphere, if the atmosphere cannot emit and absorb the thermal radiation (e.g. for atmosphere of O2−N2), the conductive heat transfer from the flame to the fuel surface dominates the flame spread at lower ambient atmosphere. As the ambient pressure increases, the flame spread rate increases, and the radiant heat transfer from the flame to the fuel surface gradually becomes the dominant driving force for the flame spread. In contrast, if the atmosphere is able to emit and absorb the thermal radiation (e.g. for atmosphere of O2−CO2), at lower pressure, the heat transfer from flame to the fuel surface is enhanced by the radiation reabsorption of the atmosphere at the leading edge of the flame, and both conduction and thermal radiation play important roles in the mechanism of flame spread. With the increase in ambient pressure, the oxygen diffuses more quickly from ambient atmosphere into the flame, the chemical reaction in the flame is enhanced, and the flame spread rate increases. When the ambient pressure is greater than a critical value, the thermal radiation from the flame to the solid surface is hampered by the radiation reabsorption of ambient atmosphere with the further increase in ambient pressure. As a result, with the increase in ambient pressure, the flame spread rate decreases and the heat conduction gradually dominates the flame spread over the fuel surface.

Keywords

flame spread radiation reabsorption microgravity 

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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Microgravity Laboratory, Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Chinese People’s Armed Police Force AcademyLangfangChina

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