On the flame-generated vorticity dynamics of bluff-body stabilized premixed flames
Carr, Zakery R.
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This investigation considers the dynamics of the flame-generated vorticity for a premixed, submerged bluff-body stabilized flame. Digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) is used to obtain mean and instantaneous velocity and vorticity fields in four streamwise locations, capturing nearly the entire combustion chamber. The Mie scattering images which are collected for DPIV prove useful in determining the approximate location of the flame as indicated by a stark difference in seeding particle density caused by volumetric expansion. Examining the location of the flame fronts in relation to the mean velocity, mean vorticity, and corresponding instantaneous fields provides useful information about the interaction of the flame and the flow. Experiments characterize the far-field region in particular with a level of detail not previously afforded to this type of flow. The unique nature of the velocity and vorticity fields, as well as a change in rotation of the flame structures observed in the Mie scattering images, are explained by appealing to the baroclinic generation of vorticity. The baroclinic mechanism is activated when non-parallel pressure and density gradients are present. Mean static pressure measurements at the combustion chamber wall allow inferences about the pressure field to be made. The coupling that exists among pressure, heat release, and baroclinic generation is also acknowledged and will influence strategies for control of the baroclinic mechanism. Particular details of the coupling remain unclear, nevertheless improved understanding can lead to advancements in combustion efficiency. Simple scaling of the problem allows a prediction of baroclinic vorticity generation to be obtained. Further insight into the dynamics in the region of interest are provided using CH* filtered and unfiltered chemiluminescence images.