Flame propagation experiment of PMMA particle cloud in a microgravity environment

Hideaki Kobayashi, Naomichi Ono, Yozo Okuyama, Takashi Nioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1693-1699
Number of pages7
JournalSymposium (International) on Combustion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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