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RESEARCH PAPERS

The Sonic Limit in Sodium Heat Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
E. K. Levy, S. F. Chou

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

J. Heat Transfer 95(2), 218-223 (May 01, 1973) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3450029 History: Received July 26, 1971; Revised March 15, 1972; Online August 11, 2010

Abstract

The results of an analytical study of the vapor dissociation–recombination and homogeneous vapor condensation phenomena in sodium heat pipes are described. It is shown that neither the dissociation–recombination reaction nor the vapor condensation process has a large influence on the sonic-limit heat transfer rate. The single most important factor is shown to be the wall shear stress in the heat-pipe vapor passage. The friction effects control the location of the sonic point, determine if the flow in the condenser section will be subsonic or supersonic, and decrease the sonic-limit heat transfer rate to values which can be substantially lower than those which are predicted from inviscid analyses.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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