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Direct numerical simulations of a high Karlovitz number laboratory premixed jet flame – an analysis of flame stretch and flame thickening

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 February 2017

Haiou Wang*
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
Evatt R. Hawkes
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, The University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
Jacqueline H. Chen
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
Bo Zhou
Division of Combustion Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, S221 00 Lund, Sweden
Zhongshan Li
Division of Combustion Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, S221 00 Lund, Sweden
Marcus Aldén
Division of Combustion Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, S221 00 Lund, Sweden
Email address for correspondence:


This article reports an analysis of the first detailed chemistry direct numerical simulation (DNS) of a high Karlovitz number laboratory premixed flame. The DNS results are first compared with those from laser-based diagnostics with good agreement. The subsequent analysis focuses on a detailed investigation of the flame area, its local thickness and their rates of change in isosurface following reference frames, quantities that are intimately connected. The net flame stretch is demonstrated to be a small residual of large competing terms: the positive tangential strain term and the negative curvature stretch term. The latter is found to be driven by flame speed–curvature correlations and dominated in net by low probability highly curved regions. Flame thickening is demonstrated to be substantial on average, while local regions of flame thinning are also observed. The rate of change of the flame thickness (as measured by the scalar gradient magnitude) is demonstrated, analogously to flame stretch, to be a competition between straining tending to increase gradients and flame speed variations in the normal direction tending to decrease them. The flame stretch and flame thickness analyses are connected by the observation that high positive tangential strain rate regions generally correspond with low curvature regions; these regions tend to be positively stretched in net and are relatively thinner compared with other regions. High curvature magnitude regions (both positive and negative) generally correspond with lower tangential strain; these regions are in net negatively stretched and thickened substantially.

© 2017 Cambridge University Press 

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