Near-limit flame spread over paper samples
TL;DR: In this paper, the near-limit characteristics of a spreading flame are considered, where the flame is extinguished by increasing the heat loss, reducing the total pressure, or reducing the oxygen mole fraction in the environment.
Abstract: In this study the near-limit characteristics of a spreading flame are considered. Flame spreading rates and temperature profiles are measured as extinction conditions are approached. The flame is extinguished by increasing the heat loss, reducing the total pressure, or reducing the oxygen mole fraction in the environment. The gas phase temperature profiles are obtained with fine-wire thermocouple probes. The flame spreading results show that the power-law correlations of McAlevy and Magee  do not remain valid near the extinction limit. In all cases the slope of the Log (flame spread rate) vs. Log (total pressure) curves increase and approach vertical at extinction. Differences in vertical and horizontal flame spreading are discussed. The flame temperature profiles are examined for a near-limit flame, but the total pressure level is the only parameter changed. In the near-limit flame the maximum flame temperature is reduced slightly, but the flame is enlarged in physical size greatly. It is observed that near the pyrolysis front, heat transfer forward in the gas phase and normal to the fuel surface are of the same order of magnitude.
TL;DR: In this paper, heat transfer and gas phase chemical kinetic aspects of the flame spread process are addressed separately for the spread of flames in oxidizing flows that oppose or concur with the direction of propagation.
Abstract: Recent advances in the experimental study of the mechanisms controlling the spread of flames over the surface of combustible solids are summarized in this work. The heat transfer and gas phase chemical kinetic aspects of the flame spread process are addressed separately for the spread of flames in oxidizing flows that oppose or concur with the direction of propagation. The realization that, in most practical situations, the spread of fire in opposed gas flows occurs at near extinction or non-propagating conditions is particularly significant. Under these circumstances, gas phase chemical kinetics plays a critical role and it must be considered if realistic descriptions of the flame spread process are attempted. In the concurrent mode of flame spread, heat transfer from the flame to the unburnt fuel appears to be the primary controlling mechanism. Although gas phase chemcial kinetics is unimportant in the flame spreading process, it is important in the establishment and extension of the diffusion ...
TL;DR: In this paper, the steady-state flame spread over a thermally thin solid fuel is investigated, and qualitative agreement is obtained with experimental results in the near-extinction limit region.
Abstract: A theory for the steady-state flame spread over a thermally thin solid fuel is developed in this study. The model considers a laminar diffusion flame in a uniform opposed flow and includes the two-dimensional, elliptic, gas-phase energy, and species equations with one-step overall chemical reaction and second-order, finite-rate Arrhenius kinetics. The unsteady, solid-fuel equations neglect heat conduction ahead of the flame but include transient heating and Arrhenius pyrolysis kinetics and are coupled to the quasisteady gas phase. The equations are solved in the laboratory coordinate system. In this study the two-dimensional distributions of temperature and species are obtained, including the low reactivity zone in the flame region. The solid-fuel surface profiles indicate a region of almost uniform temperature (vaporization temperature) during pyrolysis for some parameter values; however, the value is not universally constant for the fuel and does depend on the ambient parameters (pressure, oxygen mass fraction, and magnitude of opposed velocity). The dependence of the flame-spread rate on the ambient parameters is investigated, and qualitative agreement is obtained with experimental results in the near-extinction-limit region. Quantitative agreement with experimental data depends on the choice of parameter values, especially the gas-phase kinetics model parameters, which are generally unknown. The flame-extinction limits due to increased opposed velocity, reduced pressure, and reduced ambient oxygen mass fraction are all obtained in the results calculated from this theory.
••01 Jan 1981
TL;DR: In this article, the velocity of flame propagation over the surface of thick PMMA and thin paper sheets has been measured as a function of the velocity and oxygen concentration of a forced gas flow opposing the direction of the flame propagation.
Abstract: The velocity of flame propagation over the surface of thick PMMA and thin paper sheets has been measured as a function of the velocity and oxygen concentration of a forced gas flow opposing the direction of flame propagation. It is shown that although for thin fuels the flame spread rate always decreases as the opposed flow velocity increases, for thick fuels the dependence of the spread rate on the gas velocity is also a function of the ambient oxygen concentration. For low oxygen concentrations the flame spread rate decreases as the velocity of the gas flow increases. For high oxygen concentrations, however, the spread rate increases with the flow velocity, reaches a maximum and then decreases as the gas velocity increases. The velocity of the opposed flow at which the maximum occurs is a function of the oxygen concentration, decreasing as the concentration decreases. Following phenomenological considerations and simplified descriptions of the primary mechanisms occurring during the flame spread process, the experimental results are correlated by two non-dimensional parameters, one describing the gas phase kinetic effects and the other describing the process of heat transfer from the flame to the fuel. Such a correlation provides a powerful means of predicting the flame spread prcess as well as physical insight into the mechanisms controlling the propagation of the flame.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors show that buoyancy influences the downward spread rate of flames consuming thermally thin fuel beds, and 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.
Abstract: 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.
••01 Jan 1989
TL;DR: In this article, the flame behavior is observed to depend strongly on the magnitude of the relative velocity between the flame and the atmosphere, and a low velocity quenching limit is found in low oxgen environments.
Abstract: Diffusion flame spread over a thin solid fuel in quiescent and slowly moving atmospheres is studied in microgravity. The flame behavior is observed to depend strongly on the magnitude of the relative velocity between the flame and the atmosphere. In particular, a low velocity quenching limit is found to exist in low oxgen environments. Using both the microgravity results and previously published data at high opposed-flow velocities, the flame spread behavior is examined over a wide velocity range. A flammability map using molar oxygen percentages and characteristic relative velocities as coordinates is constructed. Trends of flame spread rate are determined and mechanisms for flame extinction are discussed.
TL;DR: In this paper, the structure of steady state diffusion flames is investigated by analyzing the mixing and chemical reaction of two opposed jets of fuel and oxidizer as a particular example, and an Arrhenius one-step irreversible reaction in the realistic limit of large activation energies.
Abstract: The structure of steady state diffusion flames is investigated by analyzing the mixing and chemical reaction of two opposed jets of fuel and oxidizer as a particular example. An Arrhenius one-step irreversible reaction has been considered in the realistic limit of large activation energies. The entire range of Damkohler numbers, or ratio of characteristic diffusion and chemical times, has been covered. When the resulting maximum temperature is plotted in terms of the Damkohler number (which is inversely proportional to the flow velocity) the characteristic S curve emerges from the analysis, with segments from the curve resulting from: 1. (a) A nearly frozen ignition regime where the temperature and concentrations deviations from its frozen flow values are small. The lower branch and bend of the S curve is covered by this regime. 2. (b) A partial burning regime, where both reactants cross the reaction zone toward regions of frozen flow. This regime is unstable. 3. (c) A premixed flame regime where only one of the reactants leaks through the reaction zone, which then separates a region of frozen flow from a region of near-equilibrium. 4. (d) A near-equilibrium diffusion controlled regime, covering the upper branch of the S curve, with a thin reaction zone separating two regions of equilibrium flow. Analytical expressions are obtained, in particular, for the ignition and extinction conditions.
TL;DR: In this paper, the adequacy of direct one-step chemical kinetics for describing ignition and extinction in initially unmixed gases is studied through the particular case of inviscid axisymmetric stagnation-point flow.
Abstract: The adequacy of direct one-step chemical kinetics for describing ignition and extinction in initially unmixed gases is studied through the particular case of inviscid axisymmetric stagnation-point flow. Oxidant is assumed to blow from upstream infinity at a non-gaseous reservoir of pure fuel at its boiling (or sublimating) temperature. Before reaching the reservoir the oxidant reacts with gaseous fuel flowing in the opposite direction to form product and release heat. This heat is in part conducted and diffused to the reservoir interface to transform more fuel into the gaseous state and continue the steady-state burning. Second-order Arrhenius kinetics for Lewis-number unity is examined. A critical parameter characterizing the phenomenon is shown to be the first Damkohler similarity group D1, the ratio of a time characterizing the flow to a time characterizing the chemical activity.For small D1 the reactants convect away heat without releasing the energy stored in their chemical bonds. Regular perturbation about chemically frozen flow establishes this condition as the weak burning limit. For large D1 singular perturbation describes a narrow region of intense chemical activity. For infinite D1 (indefinitely fast rate of reaction) the region is reduced to a surface of discontinuity (the thin-flame kinetics of Burke & Schumann).For intermediate D1 numerical techniques establish that a solution describing burning of moderate intensity joins the two previously mentioned asymptotic limits. It is suggested that sudden transition of the system between the various branches in this domain of intermediate D1 accounts for the phenomena of ignition and extinction of burning.
TL;DR: In this article, the quasi-steady diffusion flame structure in droplet burning is analyzed, in the limit of large activation energy, for a one-step Arrhenius reaction in the gas phase.
Abstract: The quasi-steady diffusion flame structure in droplet burning is analysed, in the limit of large activation energy, for a one-step Arrhenius reaction in the gas phase. The characteristic ignition-extinction S-shaped curve is produced with segments of it corresponding to a nearly frozen flow regime, a partial burning regime, a premixed flame regime, and a nearly equilibrium regime. Critical Damkohler numbers for ignition and extinction, as well as correction factors to the mass evaporation rate due to finite activation energy, are obtained. Close mathematical and physical analogies exist between the present problem and the counterflow problem recently analysed by Linan such that through appropriate transformations most of his numerical results can be readily utilized.
TL;DR: In this article, the effects of antimony trioxide plus sufficient chlorine were compared in polyethylene, and it was shown that the maximum effect requires about 0·01 antimony atoms per C2 group in the polyethylenes and develops just as well when chlorine/antimony is six as when it is twenty.
Abstract: The flammability of polymers has been measured by determining the oxygen content of the atmospheres just capable of burning them. The effects of the following three commonly used agents for reducing flammability have been compared in polyethylene. (1) A moderate degree of inhibition is conferred by antimony trioxide plus sufficient chlorine: the maximum effect requires about 0·01 antimony atoms per C2 group in the polyethylene, and develops just as well when chlorine/antimony is six as when it is twenty. The full effect of the antimony does not develop when chlorine/antimony is two. (2) Various phosphorus compounds are all of similar effectiveness per atom of phosphorus added to polyethylene. (3) With sufficient substitution of hydrogen by halogen in polyethylene, a greater inhibition is achieved than is possible by (1) or (2). We have no evidence how (1) and (2) inhibit burning, but present evidence is that in (3) a large substitution of chlorine works mostly by affecting the degradation of the polymer rather than by interfering with gas phase flame reactions.
TL;DR: In this paper, an analysis is developed for predicting extinction of the diffusion flame that is established when an oxidizing gas flows about the nose of a vaporizing fuel body, using the limit of a large ratio of the activation energy to the thermal energy at the flame for the overall combustion process.
Abstract: An analysis is developed for predicting extinction of the diffusion flame that is established when an oxidizing gas flows about the nose of a vaporizing fuel body. Use is made of the limit of a large ratio of the activation energy to the thermal energy at the flame for the overall combustion process, since this limit encompasses all cases of practical interest. By revealing a correspondence with the asymptotic flame structure of a counterflow diffusion flame analyzed earlier, the theory makes available explicit formulas, in term of a Damkohler number, for study of gas-phase extinction in the present geometry. From these results a simplified but reasonably accurate method is developed for obtaining, from experimental data on extinction, kinetic information concerning the overall oxidation process occurring in the vicinity of extinction. Curves calculated from a parametric study are presented to facilitate application of the technique, and the procedure is illustrated for methanol burning in oxygennitrogen mixtures.
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01 Jan 1969