An Analytical Study of Laminar Film Condensation: Part 1—Flat Plates

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Ming Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

J. Heat Transfer 83(1), 48-54 (Feb 01, 1961) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3680467 History: Received June 10, 1960


The boundary-layer equations of momentum and energy are written in a modified integral form and solved for the case of laminar film condensation along a vertical flat plate. The analysis differs from previous works by employing the more realistic boundary condition of stationary vapor at large distances instead of zero velocity gradient at the interface. Solutions for both the liquid film and vapor boundary layer are given for the case μv ρv ≪ μρ. Velocity and temperature profiles are obtained using perturbation method and the modified integral boundary-layer equations. The results show a significant negative velocity gradient at the interface as a result of vapor drag except for small values of kΔt/μλ. Theoretical heat-transfer coefficients are computed and found to be lower than previous theories, especially for low Prandtl numbers. Comparison with experimental heat-transfer data is given. The heat-transfer results are also presented in the form of an approximate formula for ease of application.

Copyright © 1961 by ASME
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