The density change across premixed flames propagating in turbulent flows modifies
the turbulence. The nature of that modification depends on the regime of turbulent
combustion, the burner design, the orientation of the turbulent flame and the position
within the flame. The present study addresses statistically stationary turbulent combustion
in the flame-sheet regime, in which the laminar-flame thickness is less than
the Kolmogorov scale, for flames stabilized on a vertically oriented cylindrical burner
having fully developed upward turbulent pipe flow upstream from the exit. Under
these conditions, rapidly moving wrinkled laminar flamelets form the axisymmetric
turbulent flame brush that is attached to the burner exit. Predictions have been made
of changes in turbulence properties across laminar flamelets in such situations, but
very few measurements have been performed to test the predictions. The present work
measures individual velocity changes and changes in turbulence across flamelets at
different positions in the turbulent flame brush for three different equivalence ratios,
for comparison with theory.
The measurements employ a three-element electrostatic probe (EP) and a two-component
laser-Doppler velocimeter (LDV). The LDV measures axial and radial
components of the local gas velocity, while the EP, whose three sensors are located
in a vertical plane that passes through the burner axis, containing the plane of the
LDV velocity components, measures arrival times of flamelets at three points in that
plane. From the arrival times, the projection of flamelet orientation and velocity on
the plane are obtained. All of the EP and LDV sensors are located within a fixed
volume element of about 1 mm diameter to provide local, time-resolved information.
The technique has the EP advantages of rapid response and good sensitivity and
the EP disadvantages of intrusiveness and complexity of interpretation, but it is well
suited to the type of data sought here.
Theory predicts that the component of velocity tangent to the surface of a locally
planar flamelet remains constant in passing through the flamelet. The data are
consistent with this prediction, within the accuracy of the measurement. The data
also indicate that the component of velocity normal to the flamelet, measured with
respect to the flamelet, tends to increase in passing through the flamelet, as expected.
The flamelets thereby can generate anisotropy in initially isotropic turbulence. They
also produce differences in turbulent spectra conditioned on unburnt or burnt gas.
Local modifications of turbulence by flamelets thus are demonstrated experimentally.
The modifications are quantitatively different at different locations in the turbulent
flame brush but qualitatively similar in that the turbulence is enhanced more strongly
in the radial direction than in the axial direction at all positions in these flames.