Structure and dynamics of edge flames in the near wake of unequal merging shear flows

Zhanbin Lu, Moshe Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine in this study the structure and dynamic properties of an edge flame formed in the near-wake of two initially separated shear flows, one containing fuel and the other oxidiser. A comprehensive study is carried out within the diffusive-thermal framework where the flow field, computed a-priori, is used for the determination of the combustion field. Our focus is on the effects of three controlling parameters: the Damköhler number controlling the overall flow rate, the oxidiser-to-fuel strain rate ratio of the supply streams that determines the extent of oxidiser entrainment towards the mixing zone, and the Lewis number, assumed equal for the fuel and oxidiser, that depends on the mixture composition. Response curves, representing the edge flame standoff distance as a function of Damköhler number, exhibit two distinct shapes: C-shaped and U-shaped curves characterising the response of low and high Lewis number flames, respectively. Stability considerations show that the upper solution branch of the C-shaped response curve is unstable and hence corresponds to physically unrealistic states, but due to heat conduction toward the cold plate the lower solution branch is always stable. The states forming this solution branch correspond to flame attachment, where the edge flame remains practically attached to the tip of the plate until it is blown off by the flow when the velocity exceeds a critical value. The U-shaped response, on the other hand, consists of equilibrium states that are globally stable. Thus, high Lewis number flames can be always stabilised near the splitter plate, with the edge held stationary or undergoing a back and forth motion, or lifted and stabilised downstream by the flow. Insight into the distinct stabilisation characteristics, exhibited by the different Lewis number cases, is given by examining the relationship between the local flow velocity and the edge propagation speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-295
Number of pages38
JournalCombustion Theory and Modelling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016


  • Navier-Stokes region
  • diffusion flame stabilisation
  • edge flame
  • edge flame oscillation
  • near-wake region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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