Quasi-steady stages in the process of premixed flame acceleration in narrow channels
Journal article, 2013
The present paper addresses the phenomenon of spontaneous acceleration of a pre-mixed flame front propagating in micro-channels, with subsequent deflagration-to-detonation transition. It has recently been shown experimentally [M. Wu, M. Burke, S. Son, and R. Yetter, Proc. Combust. Inst. 31, 2429 (2007)], computationally [D. Valiev, V. Bychkov, V. Akkerman, and L.-E. Eriksson, Phys. Rev. E 80, 036317 (2009)], and analytically [V. Bychkov, V. Akkerman, D. Valiev, and C. K. Law, Phys. Rev. E 81, 026309 (2010)] that the flame acceleration undergoes different stages, from an initial exponential regime to quasi-steady fast deflagration with saturated velocity. The present work focuses on the final saturation stages in the process of flame acceleration, when the flame propagates with supersonic velocity with respect to the channel walls. It is shown that an intermediate stage may occur during acceleration with quasi-steady velocity, noticeably below the Chapman-Jouguet deflagration speed. The intermediate stage is followed by additional flame acceleration and subsequent saturation to the Chapman-Jouguet deflagration regime. We elucidate the intermediate stage by the joint effect of gas pre-compression ahead of the flame front and the hydraulic resistance. The additional acceleration is related to viscous heating at the channel walls, being of key importance at the final stages. The possibility of explosion triggering is also demonstrated.