The flame propagation experiments on clouds of purely spherical PMMA particles in a microgravity environment were conducted by using the Japan Microgravity Center (JAMIC) drop shaft, where a microgravity condition of 10-4 g for 10 s is available. The exact measurement of the burning velocity of the particle cloud was impossible due to the particle sedimentation in normal gravity up to now. The particle cloud was created using a fluidized-bed-type device and suspended in the flame propagation tube. The cloud was ignited at the open end of the tube, and the flame speed was measured by charge coupled device (CCD) video camera images. The flame speed in normal gravity was also measured, and the two groups of results were compared. The results showed that the flame speed in normal gravity was considerably larger than for ordinary gaseous flames, since turbulent combustion occurred due to the residual turbulence of the flow and the turbulence generated by the particle sedimentation. On the other hand, in the microgravity environment, when the cloud was ignited 6 s after the release of the capsule, the particles were quiescent and dispersed with sufficient uniformity, indicating the effectiveness of the long duration micorgravity environment on the decay of turbulence. The flame speed decreased drastically in comparison with normal gravity cases, but the dependence of the flame speed on the particle concentration was similar to that in normal gravity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes