Villela, A., Botero, S., Machado, G., Egúsquiza, J. et al., "Image Processing Applied to Flame Propagation and Ignition Delay Measurements in a Rapid Compression Machine," SAE Technical Paper 2013-36-0296, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-36-0296.
Regarding fuels research and development, some preliminary studies - low cost and short time - can be conducted before the traditional engine tests - more expensive and time consuming. Therefore, experimental apparatus, such as a rapid compression machine (RCM) and specific methodologies, such as imaging techniques, are very useful in order to simulate engine combustion with simplicity, agility and flexibility, reducing development time and costs.Imaging techniques allow flame front propagation and ignition delay analysis, which are important parameters to understand fuel performance in engines and also to improve fuel modeling in engine simulation softwares.A RCM was adapted to operate in a spark ignition engine mode. It was used to obtain high-speed photos of flame propagation and ignition delay. Contour plots of the flame front profiles were obtained in successive frames to analyze the flame development with gasoline-ethanol blends. Based on a software code, it was determined the flame size in each frame. The flame area, in pixels and the frame ratio were previously established. Then, it was possible to calculate the flame growth ratio, in pixels per frame. The results were compared to published propagation speed data.