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Friday, October 19 • 2:35pm - 2:55pm
PERWAVES combustion experiment performed on the Maxus 9 sounding rocket

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The combustion of metal suspensions occupies an important place in modern technology, such as propulsion or chemical safety. Metals have even been proposed as a possible carbon-free energy carrier as well as a propellant for in-situ production on the Moon or on Mars. It has been discovered that for a given field of parameters, the heterogeneous flames exhibit an unusual behavior. The flame cease to propagate as continuous fronts and become dominated by discrete effects, leading to low-velocity percolation-like propagation. This phenomenon has been reported in other areas of science such as in self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS), chemical kinetics, or biology; the study of discrete flames in metal suspensions may therefore be crucial in understanding front propagation in many of these systems. Due to particle settling and buoyancy-driven disruptions of the flame, both caused by gravity, a clear parametric study of discrete flames can only be realized in microgravity environments. This lead to the PERWAVES experiment, performed in a microgravity environment aboard the European Space Agency sounding rocket Maxus 9, launched on April 7th, 2017. The tests involved the propagation of flames of iron suspensions dispersed in oxygen/xenon gas. The particle concentration was varied and two different oxygen/xenon proportions, 20%/80% and 40%/60% respectively, were used. It was found that flames propagate at low average speed (~1 cm/s), insensitive to combustion time of individual particles, in agreement with discrete regime predictions.

avatar for Jan Palecka

Jan Palecka

PhD student, McGill University
PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, working in the area of Combustion and Reactive Materials. My main specialization is heterogeneous combustion in metal suspensions. During my PhD, I have been tasked with the preaparation and analysis of the PERWAVES project, which has been performed... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 2:35pm - 2:55pm EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1