Hydrodynamic and diffusion effects on the stability of spherically expanding flames

J. K. Bechtold, M. Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

291 Scopus citations


We examine the stability of an outwardly propagating spherical flame accounting for both hydrodynamic and thermodiffusive effects. For Lewis numbers less than a critical value Le* < 1, disturbances of the flame front grow during the initial phase of propagation, i.e., when the radius is comparable to the flame thickness. However, for Le > Le*, the flame, which is stable to thermodiffusive effects, becomes unstable only after a critical size is reached. This instability is hydrodynamic in nature and is caused by the thermal expansion of the gas. In this study we provide an expression for the determination of the critical size, or a critical Peclet number, which depends on the thermal expansion coefficient and on the Lewis number. The explicit dependence on all the relevant physicochemical parameters enables us to compare our results with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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