Research Papers

A Boundary-Layer Treatment of Laminar-Film Condensation

[+] Author and Article Information
E. M. Sparrow, J. L. Gregg

NASA, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

J. Heat Transfer 81(1), 13-18 (Feb 01, 1959) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4008118 History: Received November 04, 1957; Published February 01, 1959; Online February 19, 2019


The problem of laminar-film condensation on a vertical plate is attacked using the mathematical techniques of boundary-layer theory. Starting with the boundary-layer (partial differential) equations, a similarity transformation is found which reduces them to ordinary differential equations. Energy-convection and fluid-acceleration terms are fully accounted for. Solutions are obtained for values of the parameter cpΔT/hfg between 0 and 2 for Prandtl numbers between 1 and 100. These solutions take their place in the boundary-layer family along with those of Blasius, Pohlhausen, Schmidt and Beckmann, and so on. Heat-transfer results are presented. It is found that the Prandtl-number effect, which arises from retention of the acceleration terms, is very small for Prandtl numbers greater than 1.0. Low Prandtl number (0.003–0.03) heat-transfer results are given in Appendix 2, and a greater effect of the acceleration terms is displayed.

Copyright © 1959 by ASME
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