Effect of AC electric fields on flame spread over electrical wire
KAUST DepartmentClean Combustion Research Center
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Mechanical Engineering Program
Combustion and Laser Diagnostics Laboratory
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AbstractThe effect of electric fields on the characteristics of flame spread over insulated electrical wire has been investigated experimentally by varying AC voltage and frequency applied to the wire in the normal gravity condition. The polyethylene (PE) insulated electrical wire was placed horizontally on electrically non-conducting posts and one end of the wire was connected to the high voltage terminal. Thus, the electrical system is the single electrode configuration. The wire was ignited at one end and the flame spread rate along the wire has been measured from the images using a video camera. Two distinct regimes existed depending on the applied AC frequency. In the low frequency regime, the flame spread rate decreased with the frequency and voltage. While in the high frequency regime, it decreased initially with voltage and then increased. At high frequency, the spread rate was even over that without applying electric fields. This result implies that fire safety codes developed without considering the effect of electric fields may require modifications. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Combustion Institute. All rights reserved.
SponsorsThis work was supported by AEA Project/KAUST and by "Ground-Based Research Program for Space Utilization" by Japan Space Forum (2006-09).