RESEARCH PAPERS: Boiling and Condensation

Assessment of CHF Enhancement Mechanisms in a Curved, Rectangular Channel Subjected to Concave Heating

[+] Author and Article Information
J. C. Sturgis, I. Mudawar

Boiling and Two-Phase Flow Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

J. Heat Transfer 121(2), 394-404 (May 01, 1999) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2825992 History: Received February 13, 1998; Revised January 15, 1999; Online December 05, 2007


An experimental study was undertaken to examine the enhancement in critical heat flux (CHF) provided by streamwise curvature. Curved and straight rectangular flow channels were fabricated with identical 5.0 × 2.5 mm cross sections and heated lengths of 101.6 mm in which the heat was applied to only one wall—the concave wall (32.3 mm radius) in the curved channel and a side wall in the straight. Tests were conducted using FC-72 liquid with mean inlet velocity and outlet subcooling of 0.25 to 10 m s−1 and 3 to 29°C, respectively. Centripetal acceleration for curved flow reached 315 times earth’s gravitational acceleration. Critical heat flux was enhanced due to flow curvature at all conditions but the enhancement decreased with increasing subcooling. For near-saturated conditions, the enhancement was approximately 60 percent while for highly subcooled flow it was only 20 percent. The causes for the enhancement were identified as (1) increased pressure on the liquid-vapor interface at wetting fronts, (2) buoyancy forces and (3) increased subcooling at the concave wall. Flow visualization tests were conducted in transparent channels to explore the role of buoyancy forces in enhancing the critical heat flux. These forces were observed to remove vapor from the concave wall and distribute it throughout the cross section. Vapor removal was only effective at near-saturated conditions, yielding the observed substantial enhancement in CHF relative to the straight channel.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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