Leading edge dynamics of lean premixed flames stabilized on a bluff body

Dan Michaels, Ahmed F. Ghoniem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper examines the dynamics of the flame leading edge in a laminar premixed CH4/air flame stabilized on a bluff body in a channel. Harmonic fluctuations and step velocity change are used to simulate the flame response to acoustic oscillations, which are of primary importance in the study of thermo-acoustic instabilities. We use a fully resolved unsteady two-dimensional code with detailed chemistry and species transport, with coupled heat transfer to the bluff body. Calculations were conducted with different equivalence ratios, body materials, and steady state inlet velocity with step or harmonic perturbations. Results reveal that the flame leading edge dynamics displays a peak response around St = 0.5 suggesting that the leading edge motion is mainly due to the advection of appropriate ignition conditions as a result of the excitement of the wake recirculating flow. There is considerable augmentation of the flame wrinkles generated by the flame leading edge motion as result of the flow–flame interaction. Additionally, we show that a flame that anchors on average further upstream leads to stronger damping of the shear layer vortices and thus weaker vortex-flame interaction and heat release fluctuations. Hence, we identify two different mechanisms by which the flame leading edge location and oscillation amplitude impact heat release fluctuations. The study suggests a stronger dependence of the overall flame wrinkling and heat release fluctuations on the flame leading edge dynamics than recognized previously and the potential role it plays in combustion dynamics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Feb 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was partly supported by a MIT-Technion fellowship and partly by KAUST.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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