Flame dynamics and consideration of deflagration-to-detonation transition in central gravitational field

V'Yacheslav Akkerman, Chung K. Law

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10 Scopus citations


Expanding reaction fronts are central to many terrestrial processes as well as such cosmic phenomena as the thermonuclear combustion in supernovae. While in terrestrial conditions the effect of intrinsic flamefront instabilities is generally believed to be supplementary to, say, external turbulence and chamber dynamics, at the astrophysical scale the role of flamefront instabilities in the flame acceleration is presumably dominant. Moreover, while in terrestrial systems we focus mainly on the hydrodynamic, Darrieus-Landau (DL) instability, the Rayleigh-Taylor (RT), body-force instability could be a key issue for astrophysical flames because of the enormous gravity and the associated large scales. Consequently, if RT effects dominate over DL effects, the globally-spherical flamefront can be replaced by an expanding bubble with a non-spherical shape, possibly that of digit "8". In the present work we have developed a self-similar formulation describing a globally-spherical expanding flamefront corrugated due to the DL instability in a central gravitation field. The associated scenario of the flame acceleration, the evolution of the upstream flow, and the instant when a gas parcel ahead of the flamefront first explodes, hence initiating the deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT), as well as the radial coordinate of this parcel, are determined. We have also compared the effects of DL and RT instabilities, estimating whether a globally-spherical, DL-corrugated flamefront is subsequently terminated by the formation of RT bubbles. It is shown how the instant of such a transition and the relevant global flame radius are coupled to various flame and flow parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1921-1927
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


  • Body-force and intrinsic flame instabilities
  • Deflagration-to-detonation transition
  • Flame acceleration
  • Flame-generated flow
  • Gravity


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