Article Highlight | 9-Apr-2024

Optimizing flame arrester design: the impact of channel spacing on explosion dynamics in combustible gases

Maximum Academic Press

In the petrochemical and mining sectors, combustible gases create hazards of fire and explosion. Flame arresters, to prevent such disasters rely on heat loss or radical quenching to function. Channel width has been found to influence flame shape and extinguishing behavior, with narrower spaces enhancing flame quenching and determining the optimal spacing for flame propagation. However, how spacing impacts flame quenching still requires further investigation to improve flame arrester designs and increase the safety of  handling combustible gases.

In 27 July 2023, Emergency ManagementScience and Technology published a research article entitled by “Study on the effect of channel spacing on premixed syngas-air explosion inside parallel narrow channels”.

In this study, high-speed camera imagery was utilized to capture the flame propagation dynamics in parallel narrow channels. Flame propagation, explosion pressure and temperature in the narrow channel were studied to find out the effect of narrow channel spacing on the explosion. The research findings indicate that the flame front shape prior to entering the narrow channels varies with the channel spacing, transitioning from a normal to a flattened finger shape as the spacing decreases. This shape change is attributed to the enhanced explosion reflected waves caused by the reduced spacing. Inside the channels, the flame evolves from a finger shape to a variant tulip shape, with the flame front velocity peaking in the middle or rear of the channel. As the channel spacing decreases, both the maximum explosion pressure (Pmax) and the explosion pressure rise rate diminish, reflecting a weakened explosion due to increased heat absorption by the channel walls. Furthermore, the flame temperature inside the channels rises rapidly to a peak before declining, both the peak temperature and the rate of temperature rise decrease.

In conclusion, this study highlights the effect of reduced channel spacing on flame morphology, propagation velocity, explosion pressure and flame temperature, suggesting that narrow channel dimensions significantly influence explosion dynamics and are important for safety and design in environments prone to explosive gas mixtures.





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Pinkun Guo, Chuanqing Xu, Junchen Lu, Zhirong Wang*, Xinyue Chang, Lin Hu, Zepeng Wang & Jun Dong


Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Urban and Industrial Safety, College of Safety Science and Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 210009, China

About Zhirong Wang

Professor, College of Safety Science and Engineering, Nanjing Tech University. His main research areas include combustion and explosion disaster prevention and control, disaster accident simulation and evaluation.

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