The main objective of this research is to understand the mechanisms by which particle interactions affect ignition and combustion in the two-phase systems. Combustion of metal aerosols representing the two-phase systems is carried out in the microgravity environment enabling one to avoid the buoyant flows that mask the particle motion due to the particle-particle interaction effects. In addition, relatively large, e.g., 100 Mm diameter particles can be used, that remain aerosolized (i.e., do not fall down as they would at normal gravity) so that their behavior ahead, behind, and within the propagating flame can be resolved optically. An experimental apparatus exploiting this approach has been designed for the 2.2-s drop tower microgravity experiments . A typical experiment includes fluidizing metal particles under microgravity in an acoustic field, turning off the acoustic exciter, and igniting the created aerosol at a constant pressure using a hot wire igniter [1,2]. The flame propagation and details of the individual particle combustion and particle interactions are studied using high-speed movie and video cameras coupled with microscope lenses to resolve individual particles. Recorded flame images are digitized and various image processing techniques including flame position tracking, color separation, and pixel by pixel image comparisons are employed to understand the processes occurring in the burning aerosols. Condensed combustion products are collected after each experiment for the phase, composition, and morphology analyses. New experiments described in this paper address combustion of Ti and Al particle clouds in air and combustion of Mg particle clouds in C02- In addition, microgravity combustion experiments have been conducted with the particles of the newly produced Al-Mg mechanical alloys aerosolized in air.
Dreizin, E.L., Shoshin, Y.L., Murdyy, R.S., Hoffmann, V.K., Reaction Mechanisms and Particle Interaction in Burning Two-Phase Systems, Sixth International Microgravity Combustion Workshop, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, CP-2001-210826, pp. 217-220, May 22-24, 2001.