New Article Published in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

Our new article “Boundary layer instabilities in mixed convection and diffusion flames with an unheated starting length” was recently published in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer.

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The following study examines the role of streaklike coherent structures in mixed convection via a horizontal heated boundary layer possessing an unheated starting length. The three-dimensionality of flows in this configuration, which is regularly encountered in practical scenarios, has been experimentally probed using non-invasive detection methods. Experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, and the wind speed was varied from 0.70 to 2.47 m/s. The buoyant source was varied significantly by either manipulating the surface temperature of a downstream hot plate or employing a diffusion flame. Streaks were visualized in the flow by means of infrared imaging or high speed video, and a novel detection algorithm was developed to quantify important properties and to spatially track these structures over time. Lognormal distributions of spacing were observed initially, and gradual deviations from this fit indicated a deviation from streaklike behavior. The onset of streaks was determined to be controlled by the pre-existing disturbances populating the incoming boundary layer. Further downstream, buoyant forces dominated the growth and deformation of these structures, whose length scale increased significantly. The width of structures was observed to asymptote to a stable value downstream, and this was determined to be a consequence of the finite distance over which heating was applied.