Combustion in microgravity: the French contribution

Prud'homme, Roger, Legros, Guillaume and Torero, Jose L. (2017) Combustion in microgravity: the French contribution. Comptes Rendus Mecanique, 345 1: 86-98. doi:10.1016/j.crme.2016.10.012

Author Prud'homme, Roger
Legros, Guillaume
Torero, Jose L.
Title Combustion in microgravity: the French contribution
Journal name Comptes Rendus Mecanique   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1631-0721
Publication date 2017-01-01
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.crme.2016.10.012
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 345
Issue 1
Start page 86
End page 98
Total pages 13
Place of publication Issy les Moulineaux, Cedex France
Publisher Elsevier Masson
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Microgravity (drop towers, parabolic flights, sounding rockets and space stations) are particularly relevant to combustion problems given that they show high-density gradients and in many cases weak forced convection. For some configurations where buoyancy forces result in complex flow fields, microgravity leads to ideal conditions that correspond closely to canonical problems, e.g., combustion of a spherical droplet in a far-field still atmosphere, Emmons' problem for flame spreading over a solid flat plate, deflagration waves, etc. A comprehensive chronological review on the many combustion studies in microgravity was written first by Law and Faeth (1994) and then by F.A. Williams (1995). Later on, new recommendations for research directions have been delivered. In France, research has been managed and supported by CNES and CNRS since the creation of the microgravity research group in 1992. At this time, microgravity research and future activities contemplated the following:

– Droplets: the “D2 law” has been well verified and high-pressure behavior of droplet combustion has been assessed. The studies must be extended in two main directions: vaporization in mixtures near the critical line and collective effects in dense sprays.

– Flame spread: experiments observed blue flames governed by diffusion that are in accordance with Emmons' theory. Convection-dominated flames showed significant departures from the theory. Some theoretical assumptions appeared controversial and it was noted that radiation effects must be considered, especially when regarding the role of soot production in quenching.

– Heterogeneous flames: two studies are in progress, one in Poitiers and the other in Marseilles, about flame/suspension interactions.

– Premixed and triple flames: the knowledge still needs to be complemented. Triple flames must continue to be studied and understanding of “flame balls” still needs to be addressed.
Keyword Microgravity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
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