Scalar dissipation rate and scales in swirling turbulent premixed flames
© 2016 by The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. Simultaneous Rayleigh scattering and OH LIF imaging measurements of temperature and OH were used to investigate the properties of turbulent premixed flames, including the nature of the 2D thermal structures and scalar dissipation rate in the Cambridge/Sandia swirling bluff body stabilized flames, with and without the effect of swirl. Swirl creates enhanced turbulence as well as outer flow entrainment, and disrupts the pre-flame zone significantly, whilst the high temperature reaction zone as marked by OH remains relatively intact. In particular, the temperature at the location of maximum OH gradient shows very low variance across the flame region. The 2D image analysis of OH and temperature shows that the corresponding 2D gradients are aligned up to a distance of half the laminar flame thickness away from the flame front, deviating significantly in the case of swirling flames beyond that region. As in previous investigations in diffusion flames, the mean width of the observed thermal structures increases from 300 to 600 μm near the flame, with a main mode around the laminar flame thermal width in the unswirled case. The correlation between 2D thermal dissipation and variance of the reaction progress variable extracted from the images shows a direct proportionality, with a slope which agrees well with theory in the region of high turbulence away from the base. At the base of the flame where turbulence is low, the local scalar dissipation becomes a function of the local temperature via the thermal diffusivity.