Global hydrodynamic instability and blowoff dynamics of a bluff-body stabilized lean-premixed flame

Manikandan Balasubramaniyan, Abhijit Kushwaha, Yu Guan, Jianchang Feng, Peijin Liu, Vikrant Gupta, Larry K.B. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We experimentally study the hydrodynamic instability of a lean-premixed flame stabilized behind a circular cylinder. On reducing the equivalence ratio (φ) at a fixed Reynolds number (ReD), we find that the flame transitions from a steady mode to a varicose mode and then to a sinuous mode. By examining time-resolved CH∗ chemiluminescence images and analyzing how the Strouhal number scales with ReD, we determine that the varicose mode is convectively unstable, maintained by the amplification of disturbances in the turbulent base flow, whereas the sinuous mode is globally unstable as a result of the constructive interaction between the two diametrically opposite shear layers (Bénard-von Kármán instability). We attribute the emergence of the sinuous global mode to the flame moving sufficiently far downstream with decreasing φ that it is out of the wavemaker region. Finally, we investigate the lean blowoff dynamics and find that local flame pinch-off, which occurs at the end of the recirculation zone, is a reliable precursor of global flame blowoff.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034103
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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