An experimental investigation on self-acceleration of cellular spherical flames

Fujia Wu, Grunde Jomaas, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The cells that continuously develop over the flame surface of an expanding spherical flame increase its area and thereby the global propagation rate, resulting in the possibility of self-acceleration. The present study examines whether this self-acceleration could be self-similar, and, if so, whether it could also be self-turbulizing. Extensive experiments at elevated pressures and thereby reduced laminar flame thicknesses and enhanced propensity to exhibit Darrieus-Landau instability were conducted for hydrogen/air mixtures over an extensive range of equivalence ratios. The results demonstrate the strong possibility of self-similar flame acceleration, weak influence of the system pressure and diffusional-thermal instability, and a corresponding moderate spread in the power-law acceleration exponent.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)937-945
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Self-acceleration
  • Expanding spherical flame
  • Hydrodynamic (Darrieus-Landau) instability
  • Cellular flames
  • Self-similar propagation


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