Analytical expressions for the flame front speed in the downward combustion of thin solid fuels and comparison to experiments

We derive analytical expressions for the propagation speed of downward combustion fronts of thin solid fuels with a background flow initially at rest. The classical combustion model for thin solid fuels that consists of five coupled reaction-convection-diffusion equations is here reduced into a single equation with the gas temperature as the single variable. For doing so we apply a two-zone combustion model that divides the system into a preheating region and a pyrolyzing region. The speed of the combustion front is obtained after matching the temperature and its derivative at the location that separates both regions.We also derive a simplified version of this analytical expression expected to be valid for a wide range of cases. Flame front velocities predicted by our analytical expressions agree well with experimental data found in the literature for a large variety of cases and substantially improve the results obtained from a previous well-known analytical expression ​
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