A photographic study of pool boiling in the region of the critical heat flux


  • Robert Cole

    1. Lewis Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, Ohio
    Current affiliation:
    1. Clarkson College of Technology, Potsdam, New York
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A photographic study was made to investigate the boiling phenomena in the neighborhood of the critical heat flux. The system consisted of an electrically heated zirconium ribbon, insulated on its underface, suspended in a pool of water at its saturation temperature. Measurements of bubble diameters, bubble positions relative to the heating surface, local bubble frequencies, and contact angles at known times intervals were obtained from the film. Results indicate that at high heat fluxes the primary forces acting on a bubble leaving the surface are the buoyancy and drag forces. A dimensionless relationship is developed relating bubble velocity, bubble diameter, and contact angle at breakoff. Drag coefficients for freely rising vapor bubbles a saturated liquid are found to be representable by the usual drag coefficient-Reynolds number curves for solid bodies. Jakob's plot of bubble frequency vs. bubble diameter at breakoff is extended to high heat-flux values, and a relationship proposed by Deissler at the critical heat flux is found to yield reasonable agreement with the experimental data.