Convection-driven melting in an n-octane pool fire bounded by an ice wall

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2017


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An experimental study on an n-octane pool fire bound on one side by an ice wall was carried out to investigate the effects on ice melting by convection within the liquid part of the fuel. Experiments were conducted in a square glass tray (9.6cm ×9.6cm ×5cm) with a 3cm thick ice wall (9.6cm ×6.5cm ×3cm) placed on one side of the tray. The melting front velocity, as an indicator of the melting rate of the ice, increased from 0.04cm/min to 1cm/min. The measurement of the burning rates and flame heights showed two distinctive behaviors; an induction period from the initial self-sustained flame to the peak mass loss rate followed by a steady phase from the peak of mass loss rate until the manual extinguishment. Similarly, the flow field measurements by a 2-dimensional PIV system indicated the existence of two different flow regimes. In the moments before ignition of the fuel, coupling of surface tension and buoyancy forces led to a combined one roll structure in the fuel. After ignition the flow field began transitioning toward an unstable flow regime (separated) with an increase in number of vortices around the ice wall. The separated regime started with presence of a multi-roll structure separating from a primary horizontal flow on the top driven by Marangoni convection. As the burning rate/flame height increased the velocity and evolving flow patterns enhanced the melting rate of the ice wall. Experimentally determined temperature contours, using an array of finely spaced thermocouples in the liquid fuel, were used to further investigate the two layer temperature structure; an upper layer (∼8mm thick) with steep temperature gradient in the vertical direction and a layer of low temperature in deeper regions. A hot zone with thickness of ∼3mm was present below the free surface corresponding to the multi-roll location. The multi-roll structure could be the main reason for the transport of the heat received from the flame toward the ice wall which causes the melting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCombustion and Flame
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 1


  • Convective flow, Melting, n-octane, Pool fire, Ice wall
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ID: 132700342