Experimental Characterization of Soot Formation in Diffusion Flames and Explosive Fireballs

Report No. ARL-TR-5979
Authors: Kevin McNesby; Barrie Homan; John Densmore; Matt Biss; Richard Benjamin; Matt Kurman; Chol-bum Kweon; Brendan McAndrew; Zachary Quine
Date/Pages: April 2012; 106 pages
Abstract: This report summarizes a 5-year effort at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to study soot formation in diffusion flames. The work described begins with experimental and modeling studies of atmospheric pressure ethylene (C2H4)/air (N2-O2) flames to which metaxylene (C8H10) is added on the fuel side. Several laser-based diagnostic methods are discussed, including an extensive effort to measure acetylene gas in flames using a quantum cascade laser. The report also describes efforts to construct an elevated pressure-opposed flow burner and presents data on soot formation in ethylene/air flames in this burner to a total pressure of ~3 bar. During the course of this work, new experimental techniques of high-speed digital temperature and pressure mapping were developed. These techniques, described here in detail, became the focus of the latter part of the research. They are also applied to flame analysis and explosion measurement as a way of illustrating the ability to measure pressure and temperature during dynamic events. The report finishes with a discussion of unresolved or incomplete questions and tasks, and a list of publications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2012