A lean flammability limit of polymethylmethacrylate particle-cloud in microgravity

Hironao Hanai, Mitsuru Ueki, Kaoru Maruta, Hideaki Kobayashi, Susumu Hasegawa, Takashi Niioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Lean flammability limits of heterogeneous mixtures of combustible solid particles and air were measured in a microgravity field. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) spherical particles with mass median diameters of 5.0, 8.4, 13.5, 30.4, and 48.5 μm were instantaneously and uniformly dispersed into a cylindrical closed vessel using an air jet dispersion device. The mixture became quiescent without sedimentation of the PMMA particles at 6 seconds after the dispersion in microgravity. The mixture was ignited at the center of the vessel by a hot wire, and then a spherically propagating flame was formed. Flame behavior in the vessel near the lean flammability limit was observed with pressure histories, CCD camera images, and flame speeds measured by ionization probes. The experiments were performed for the initial conditions at room temperature and atmospheric pressure in microgravity. Results showed that the equivalence ratios at the lean flammability limits for the particles whose mean diameters were 8.4, 13.5, 30.4, and 48.5 μm were 0.68, 0.76, 0.86, and 1.05, respectively, indicating that the equivalence ratio at the limit increased linearly as the particle diameters were increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Aug


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