The Use of Organic Coatings to Promote Dropwise Condensation of Steam

[+] Author and Article Information
K. M. Holden, A. S. Wanniarachchi, P. J. Marto, D. H. Boone

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93943

J. W. Rose

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Queen Mary College, University of London, London, United Kingdom

J. Heat Transfer 109(3), 768-774 (Aug 01, 1987) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3248156 History: Received September 10, 1985; Online October 20, 2009


Fourteen polymer coatings were evaluated for their ability to promote and sustain dropwise condensation of steam. Nine of the coatings employed a fluoropolymer as a major constituent; four employed hydrocarbons and one a silicone. Each coating was applied to 25-mm-square by approximately 1-mm-thick metal substrates of brass, copper, copper–nickel, and titanium. While exposed to steam at atmospheric pressure, each coating was visually evaluated for its ability to promote dropwise condensation. Observations were also conducted over a period of 22,000 hr. Hardness and adhesion tests were performed on selected specimens. On the basis of sustained performance, six coatings were selected for application to the outside of 19-mm-dia copper tubes in order to perform a heat transfer evaluation. These tubes were mounted horizontally in a separate apparatus through which steam flowed vertically downward. Steam-side heat transfer coefficients were inferred from overall measurements. Test results indicate that the steam-side heat transfer coefficient can be increased by a factor of five to eight through the use of polymer coatings to promote dropwise condensation.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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