Thermal-drag and Transition from Quasi-steady to Highly-unsteady Combustion of a Fuel Droplet in the Presence of Upstream Velocity Oscillations

Mehdi Jangi, Benjamin Shaw, Hideaki Kobayashi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical studies on the behaviors of combustion of 1-butanol fuel droplet at presence of upstream velocity oscillation are performed. Fuel droplet has an initial diameter of 1.25 mm and ambiance pressure and temperature are 0.4 MPa and 300 K, respectively. These conditions are those in which the microgravity experiments in literature conducted. In the excellent agreement with the experimental data, numerical results show a significant enhancement of the burning rate of droplet compared to what is predicted by quasi-steady film theory models. The mechanism of the enhancement of burning rate is clarified then by observation of a new mechanism that is named thermal-drag, TD. It is shown, depending on the amplitude and frequency of the upstream velocity oscillation, the flame in wake region of droplet can move toward the droplet surface by the force of vortex flow motions produced by the TD mechanism. It is verified that such movement of the flame is responsible for the enhancement of the burning rate and deviation of the response of the evaporation process form the predictions of the quasi-steady model. Frequency analysis of the burning rate reveals that at low frequency and amplitude the FFT diagram of the burning rate contains of only one main peak synchronies with the frequency of upstream velocity oscillation, which implies a quasi-steady response. However; at high frequency and amplitude the diagram includes of wide range of frequencies beside of the main peak that readily shows deviation from the quasi-steady conditions. In the latter, the study on the response of the combustion to the upstream velocity fluctuations in which the fluctuations contains of three wave numbers shows the amplification of the effects of low frequency fluctuations rather than that of damping of the effects of high frequency fluctuations on the evaporation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-123
Number of pages27
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan


  • Droplet combustion
  • Flow oscillation
  • Frequency analysis
  • Thermal-drag


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