Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gerald M. Colver


A variant of the Electrostatic Particulate Chamber was developed to directly measure flame propagation velocity of combustible gas and powder mixtures. Flame propagation velocity was measured by tracking the position of the flame front utilizing the ionization effect and current due to a high intensity applied electric field. The position of the front was determined with respect to time by monitoring the voltage spike and current flow through spatially separated resistors.;With this technique, the flame propagation velocity was initially tested in gas mixtures of propane/air and natural gas/air. Measured velocities were compared to published values for burning velocities of laminar premixed flames. Although the data trends compared well to expected behaviors, the values measured were higher than expected, likely due to turbulent effects.;Additionally, burning measurements were taken in propane/air mixtures with various concentrations of 53-63mum copper particles acting to quench the flame. At low copper concentrations the burning velocity was increased. However, as copper particle concentration was increased the measured burning velocity quickly dropped below the burning velocity of similar mixtures without copper particles.;The propagation velocity of 30-35mum aluminum particles in a natural gas/air mixture was also measured. The measured velocity was found to be higher than the measured propagation velocity of the natural gas/air mixture without the aluminum particles. The brightness of the flame also indicated ignition of the aluminum particles.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ryan Mark Kroll



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

113 pages