Heat Transfer and Fragmentation During Molten-Metal/Water Interactions

[+] Author and Article Information
L. C. Witte, T. J. Vyas, A. A. Gelabert

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

J. Heat Transfer 95(4), 521-527 (Nov 01, 1973) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3450100 History: Received July 17, 1973; Online August 11, 2010


Molten metals, (mercury, lead, zinc, bismuth, tin, and aluminum) were quenched in water and liquid nitrogen. High-speed photographs provide insight into the fragmentation phenomenon. The key to the vapor explosion is the very rapid transfer of heat which requires substantial surface area: fragmentation provides this necessary surface area. Prior fragmentation theories are examined in light of these experiments and are found to be inadequate. This study indicates strongly that fragmentation occurs when a sample is molten and fragmentation is a response to an external stimulus. Alternate causes of fragmentation are proposed and are predicated upon the initial collapse of a vapor film around the molten metal. The data also show that energy required to form new surface area and to displace water during the fragmentation phenomenon is not significant when compared to the energy available in a molten sample.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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