Combustion Wave Propagation Regimes in a Channel equipped with an Array of Cross-flow Cylindrical Obstacles
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Flame propagation through a channel equipped with obstacles was studied experimentally. Two types of obstacle geometries were investigated, i.e., wall-mounted cross-flow cylinders and fence-type obstacles mounted on the top and bottom channel surfaces. The motivation for this research is its applications to both high-speed propulsion and industrial explosion safety. The effect of obstacle distribution and blockage ratio on flame acceleration was investigated in a 2.54cm x 7.6cm “narrow” channel with wall-mounted cross-flow cylindrical obstacles. The cylinders were arranged in a “staggered” or “inline” pattern, with blockage ratios of 0.5 and 0.67. Schlieren images were used to study the flame shape and its leading edge velocity for a range of fuel-air mixtures compositions. It was determined that initial flame propagation occurs faster in higher blockage ratios due to the higher frequency perturbation to the flow. Flame acceleration led to different quasi-steady flame and detonation propagation regimes. In general, higher final steady flame velocities were reached in the lower blockage ratios, and detonation limits were found to be influenced by the geometry. The influence of channel width on flame acceleration was also determined using fence-type obstacles with a single blockage ratio. Experiments were performed in a 2.54cm x 7.6cm and 7.6cm x 7.6cm channel. Schlieren images were again used to study the flame shape and to obtain leading edge velocity. The flame tip was found to have a parabolic profile across the channel width for the narrower channel and flatter profile in the wider channel. It was determined that the channel width has a weak effect on the flame velocity down the channel length. As such, flame acceleration was initially only slightly more pronounced in the narrow channel before the reverse became true later in the wide channel.