SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Christopher Foley
TIME: Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
PLACE: Knight Bldg, 317
TITLE: Attachment Point Characteristics and Modeling of Shear Layer Stabilized Flames in an Annular, Swirling Flowfield
COMMITTEE: Dr. Tim Lieuwen, Chair (ME/AE)
Dr. Jerry Seitzman (AE)
Dr. Ben T. Zinn (ME/AE)
Dr. Andrei Fedorov (ME)
Dr. Michael Renfro (ME, UK)


The focus of this work was to develop a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of flame stabilization and extinction for shear layer stabilized, premixed flames. Planar experimental studies were performed in the attachment point region of an inner shear layer stabilized flame in an annular, swirl combustor. Through high resolution, simultaneous PIV & CH-PLIF measurements, the instantaneous flow field and flame position was captured enabling the characterization of 2D flame stretch and velocity conditions in the attachment point region. In addition, measurements performed at various equivalence ratios and premixer velocities provided insight into the physics governing blowoff. Most notably, these studies showed that as lean blowoff conditions are approached by decreasing equivalence ratio, the mean stretch rates near the attachment point decrease but remain positive throughout the measurement domain. In fact, compared to numerically calculated extinction stretch rates, the flame becomes less critically stretched as equivalence ratio is decreased. Also, investigation of the flame structure at the leading edge of the flame showed strong evidence that the flame is edge flame stabilized. This was supported by inspection of the CH-PLIF images, which showed the CH-layer oriented tangent to the flow field and terminating abruptly at the leading edge. Lastly, the flame anchoring location was observed to be highly robust as the mean flame edge flow conditions and mean location of leading edge of the flame were insensitive to changes in equivalence ratio, remaining nearly constant for values ranging from 0.9 to 1.1. However, at the leanest equivalence ratio of 0.8, the flame leading edge was located farther downstream and subject to much higher flow velocities. These results thus suggest that blowoff is the result of a kinematic balance and not directly from stretch induced flame extinction.