Reaction propagation modes in millimeter-scale tubes for ethylene/oxygen mixtures

Ming Hsun Wu, Chan Yu Wang

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92 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of tube diameter and equivalence ratio on reaction front propagations of ethylene/oxygen mixtures in capillary tubes were experimentally analyzed using high speed cinematography. The inner diameters of the tubes investigated were 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 mm. The flame was ignited at the center of the 1.5 m long smooth tube under ambient pressure and temperature before propagated towards the exits in the opposite directions. A total of five reaction propagation scenarios, including deflagration-to-detonation transition followed by steady detonation wave transmission (DDT/C-J detonation), oscillating flame, steady deflagration, galloping detonation and quenching flame, were identified. DDT/C-J detonation mode was observed for all tubes for equivalence ratios in the vicinity of stoichiometry. The velocity for the steady detonation wave propagation was approximately Chapman-Jouguet velocity for 1, 2, and 3 mm I.D. tubes; however, a velocity deficit of 5% was found for the case in 0.5 mm I.D. tube. For leaner mixtures, an oscillating flame mode was found for tubes with diameters of 1 to 3 mm, and the reaction front travelled in a steady deflagrative flame mode with velocities around 2-3 m/s when the mixture equivalence ratio becomes even leaner. Galloping detonation wave propagation was the dominant mode for the fuel lean regime in the 0.5 mm I.D. tube. For rich mixtures beyond the detonation limits, a fast flame followed by flame quenching was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2287-2293
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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