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Published March 1956 | Reprint
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Interference effects during burning in air for stationary n-heptane, ethyl alcohol, and methyl alcohol droplets


Experiments have been conducted for the determination of the evaporation constant and flame shapes of two and of five closely spaced droplets burning in air. Droplets of approximately the same and of different diameters were used at various distances between the droplet centers. The apparent flame shape, which was observed only for n-heptane droplets, changes very little during burning. The square of the droplet diameter decreases linearly with time for fixed spacing between droplet centers, at least within the experimental limits of accuracy. In general, the average evaporation constant for two droplets, K', must be assumed either to vary continuously during burning or else to be a function of average initial drop diameter, D^0. The change of K' with time corresponds to the second derivative in plots of the square of the diameter vs. time. These second derivatives are not defined in our work because of unavoidable scatter of the experimental data. Attempts at understanding the observed results by considering published theories for single droplets, as well as groupings obtained from dimensional analysis, have been unsuccessful. It appears that the diffusion model for the heterogeneous burning of single fuel droplets will require serious revision and extension before the burning of droplets arrays and sprays can be understood quantitatively. Furthermore, the effective value of K' for a spray probably depends not only on the fuel-oxidizer system but also on the injection pattern. For this reason additional studies had best be carried out under conditions corresponding to those existing in service models.

Additional Information

© 1956 American Rocket Society. Presented at the ARS Fall Meeting, Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 18-21, 1955. Supported by the Office of Ordnance Research, U.S. Army, under Contract DA 04-495-Ord-446. The authors are indebted to Mr. D. Weber for help with the experimental work and to Mr. D. East for assistance with computations and film reading.

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