In this study, the fingering pattern formation and the following flamelet spreading over three different kinds of thick combustibles, i.e., Poly methacrylate (PMMA), Poly ethylene (PE) and Poly carbonate (PC) were observed and the effective Lewis number correlation was validated. Experiments were performed with a narrow channel apparatus. In addition to the kinds of solid fuel materials, the channel height and the oxidizer velocity were varied as experimental parameters. An image analysis method was developed to quantify the number, diameter and spread rate of the flamelets. Replacing the fuel thickness into the thermal thickness, the effective Lewis number which is proposed for the smoldering combustion of thin fuel is remedied to include heat transfer perpendicular to the fuel surface. The result validates that the appearance condition of the fingering instability for thick combustibles is determined by the effective Lewis number. Hence, it is concluded that the observed phenomenon is inherently similar to that of smoldering. Further, it is shown that the non-dimensional flame diameter becomes nearly constant when the fingering instability occurs. It is believed that the correlation is useful when one wants to reproduce this phenomenon in a larger scale experiment.

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