Turbulent propagation of premixed flames in the presence of Darrieus-Landau instability

F. Creta, N. Fogla, M. Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the role played by hydrodynamic instability in the wrinkled flamelet regime of turbulent combustion, where the intensity of turbulence is small compared to the laminar flame speed and the scale large compared to the flame thickness. To this end the Michelson-Sivashinsky (MS) equation for flame front propagation in one and two spatial dimensions is studied in the presence of uncorrelated and correlated noise representing a turbulent flow field. The combined effect of turbulence intensity, integral scale, and an instability parameter related to the Markstein length are examined and turbulent propagation speed monitored for both stable planar flames and corrugated flames for which the planar conformation is unstable. For planar flames a particularly simple scaling law emerges, involving quadratic dependence on intensity and a linear dependence on the degree of instability. For corrugated flames we find the dependence on intensity to be substantially weaker than quadratic, revealing that corrugated flames are more resilient to turbulence than planar flames. The existence of a threshold turbulence intensity is also observed, below which the corrugated flame in the presence of turbulence behaves like a laminar flame. We also analyze the conformation of the flame surface in the presence of turbulence, revealing primary, large-scale wrinkles of a size comparable to the main corrugation. When the integral scale is much smaller than the characteristic corrugation length we observe, in addition to primary wrinkles, secondary small-scale wrinkles contaminating the surface. The flame then acquires a multi-scale, self-similar conformation, with a fractal dimension, for one-dimensional flames, plateauing at 1.23 for large intensities. The existence of an intermediate integral scale is also found at which the turbulent speed is maximized. When two-dimensional flames are subject to turbulence, the primary wrinkling patterns give rise to polyhedralcellular structures which bear a very close resemblance to those observed in experiments on hydrodynamically unstable expanding spherical flames.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-298
Number of pages32
JournalCombustion Theory and Modelling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Hydrodynamic instability
  • Michelson-Sivashinsky equation
  • Noise
  • Premixed flames
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Turbulent propagation of premixed flames in the presence of Darrieus-Landau instability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this