RESEARCH PAPERS: Phase Change and Multiphase Heat Transfer

The Leidenfrost Point: Experimental Study and Assessment of Existing Models

[+] Author and Article Information
J. D. Bernardin

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

I. Mudawar

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

J. Heat Transfer 121(4), 894-903 (Nov 01, 1999) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826080 History: Received February 02, 1998; Revised March 18, 1999; Online December 05, 2007


This study presents a detailed and thorough parametric study of the Leidenfrost point (LFP), which serves as the temperature boundary between the transition and film boiling regimes. Sessile drop evaporation experiments were conducted with acetone, benzene, FC-72, and water on heated aluminum surfaces with either polished, particle blasted, or rough sanded finishes to observe the influential effects of fluid properties, surface roughness, and surface contamination on the LFP. A weak relationship between surface energies and the LFP was observed by performing droplet evaporation experiments with water on polished copper, nickel, and silver surfaces. Additional parameters which were investigated and found to have negligible influence on the LFP included liquid subcooling, liquid degassing, surface roughness on the polished level, and the presence of polishing paste residues. The accumulated LFP data of this study was used to assess several existing models which attempt to identify the mechanisms which govern the LFP. The disagreement between the experimental LFP values and those predicted by the various models suggests that an accurate and robust theoretical model which effectively captures the LFP mechanisms is currently unavailable.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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