Near-limit oscillations of spherical diffusion flames

S. Cheatham, M. Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the dynamic characteristics of the diffusion flame surrounding a droplet of liquid fuel in a reduced oxidant environment. The study is motivated by the experimental observations of candle flames in microgravity, which bear some similarity to the spherical diffusion flame that surrounds a burning liquid fuel droplet. The microgravity experiments reveal that, when the oxidant concentration in the chamber is sufficiently low, oscillations develop before extinction. A similar phenomenon is predicted here. An oscillatory state results for a sufficiently low oxidant concentration when radiative losses from the flame are appreciable. The frequencies of oscillations we predict are in good agreement with the experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1409
Number of pages7
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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