Binary collision of a burning droplet and a non-burning droplet of xylene: Outcome regimes and flame dynamics

Gang Xiong, Rahul Gandhi, Xiaosheng Zhong, Lutz Mädler, Stephen D. Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The binary collisions of a burning droplet and a non-burning droplet of xylene are experimentally investigated. The experimental parameters span an extensive range of Weber number and impact parameter, covering the collision outcome regimes of coalescence, reflexive separation, and stretching separation. A high-speed camera captures the temporal details of the collision process, involving flame spread, visible radiation, and flame distributions around droplets. For reflexive separation and stretching separation, the flame from the droplet spreads to the ligament, surrounding it during the interaction process, and then spreads around separated droplets and satellite droplets. Highly-interactive flames are formed in-between the droplets, with very sooty flames generated for most collisions. For the coalescence case, a swirling flame forms around the rotating coalesced droplet. For similar Weber numbers, visible flame radiation is compared for different collision regimes. The visible flame radiation changes more significantly for the reflexive and stretching separation cases than it does for the coalescence case. The change of the averaged visible flame radiation for reflexive separation and stretching separation is more than two times higher than that for coalescence. The map of three different collision regimes is plotted in the Weber number versus impact parameter domain and compared with available theoretical model predictions. Although the different outcomes of collision with the presence of flame can be well predicted by the model, using fluid properties determined by the averaged properties of the two droplets, the dynamics of the detailed processes involved in the collisions are very interesting and have strong implications on overall combustion behavior that go well beyond the mapped regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3345-3352
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


  • Binary collision
  • Droplet flame interaction
  • Flame propagation
  • Flame radiation
  • Spray combustion


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