Behavior of Inert Gas Bubbles in Forced Convective Liquid Metal Circuits

[+] Author and Article Information
W. J. Minkowycz, D. M. France, R. M. Singer

Components Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.

J. Heat Transfer 98(1), 5-11 (Feb 01, 1976) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3450470 History: Received September 09, 1975; Online August 11, 2010


Conservation equations are derived for the motion of a small inert gas bubble in a large flowing liquid-gas solution subjected to large thermal gradients. Terms which are of the second order of magnitude under less severe and steady-state conditions are retained, thus resulting in an expanded form of the Rayleigh equation. The bubble dynamics is a function of opposing mechanisms tending to increase or decrease bubble volume while being transported with the solution. Diffusion of inert gas between the bubble and the solution is one of the most important of these mechanisms included in the analysis. The analytical model is applied to an argon gas bubble flowing in a weak solution of argon gas in liquid sodium. Calculations are performed for these fluids under conditions typical of normal and abnormal operation of a liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) core and the resulting bubble radius, internal gas pressure, and mass of inert gas are presented in each case. An important result obtained indicates that inert gas bubbles reaching the core inlet of an LMFBR will always grow as they traverse the core under normal and extreme abnormal conditions and that the rate of growth is quite small in all cases.

Copyright © 1976 by ASME
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