Experimental study of the channel effect on the flame spread over thin solid fuels

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We experimentally burn thin solid fuels and obtain the speed of the flame front when it propagates (1) within a narrow channel (closed cross section), (2) within a channel with lateral walls only and (3) through a free cross section (plain case). The latter configuration is the classical one and it has been extensively studied with analytical, numerical and experimental methods by other authors. Our experiments have been carried out at different geometrical configurations and angles of inclination of the sample and also at several values of oxygen molar fraction. All experiments are restricted to purely buoyant flow. Our main results are as follows: (1) sidewalls reduce the flame spread rate in a non-monotonous trend when varying its height; (2) in horizontal flame spread, two simultaneous flame fronts that propagate at different velocities may arise in the channel case at high oxygen levels. The fastest flame front speed may be higher than that obtained in the plain case; (3) in upward flame spread, the channel effect configuration produces the highest flame front speed. We finally analyze the correlation of the downward flame front speed data in terms of the Damkohler number ​
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