Effect of Solid Subcooling on Natural Convection Melting of a Pure Metal

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Beckermann

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242

R. Viskanta

Heat Transfer Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

J. Heat Transfer 111(2), 416-424 (May 01, 1989) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3250693 History: Received May 24, 1988; Online October 20, 2009


A combined experimental and numerical study is reported of melting of a pure metal inside a vertical rectangular enclosure with natural convection in the liquid and conduction in the solid. The numerical model is successfully verified by conducting a series of experiments covering a wide range of hot and cold wall temperatures. It is found that solid subcooling significantly reduces the melting rate when compared to melting with the solid at the fusion temperature. Because the cooled wall is held below the fusion temperature of the metal, the solid/liquid interface eventually reaches a stationary position. For moderate values of the subcooling parameter the steady-state interface is almost vertical and parallel to the cold wall. Strong subcooling results in an early termination of the melting process, such that natural convection in the relatively small liquid region cannot fully develop. For moderate subcooling, correlations have been derived for the steady-state volume and heat transfer rates. While many aspects of melting with solid subcooling appear to be similar to ordinary nonmetallic solids, important differences in the local flow structures and heat transfer mechanisms are observed.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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