NASA Logo, External Link
Facebook icon, External Link to NASA STI page on Facebook Twitter icon, External Link to NASA STI on Twitter YouTube icon, External Link to NASA STI Channel on YouTube RSS icon, External Link to New NASA STI RSS Feed AddThis share icon

Record Details

Record 1 of 24281
Length Scale and Gravity Effects on Microgravity Boiling Heat Transfer
Offline Availability: Go to Request Form
Author and Affiliation:
Kim, Jungho(Maryland Univ., Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, College Park, MD United States)
McQuillen, John(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH United States)
Balombin, Joe(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH United States)
Abstract: Boiling is a complex phenomenon where hydrodynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, and interfacial phenomena are tightly interwoven. An understanding of boiling and critical heat flux in microgravity environments is of importance to space based hardware and processes such as heat exchange, cryogenic fuel storage and transportation, electronic cooling, and material processing due to the large amounts of heat that can be removed with relatively little increase in temperature. Although research in this area has been performed in the past four decades, the mechanisms by which heat is removed from surfaces in microgravity are still unclear. In earth gravity, buoyancy is an important parameter that affects boiling heat transfer through the rate at which bubbles are removed from the surface. A simple model describing the bubble departure size based on a quasistatic force balance between buoyancy and surface tension is given by the Fritz [I] relation: Bo(exp 1/2) = 0.0208 theta where Bo is the ratio between buoyancy and surface tension forces. For small, rapidly growing bubbles, inertia associated with the induced liquid motion can also cause bubble departure. In microgravity, the magnitude of effects related to natural convection and buoyancy are small and physical mechanisms normally masked by natural convection in earth gravity such as Marangoni convection can substantially influence the boiling and vapor bubble dynamics. CHF (critical heat transfer) is also substantially affected by microgravity. In 1 g environments, Bo has been used as a correlating parameter for CHF. Zuber's CHF model for an infinite horizontal surface assumes that vapor columns formed by the merger of bubbles become unstable due to a Helmholtz instability blocking the supply of liquid to the surface. The jets are spaced lambda(sub D) apart, where lambda(sub D) = 2pi square root of 3[(sigma)/(g(rho(sub l) - rho(sub v)](exp 1/2) = 2pi square root of 3 L Bo(exp -1/2) = square root of 3 lambda(sub c) and is the wavelength that amplifies most rapidly. The critical wavelength, lambda(sub c), is the wavelength below which a vapor layer underneath a liquid layer is stable. For heaters with Bo smaller than about 3 (heaters smaller than lambda(sub D)), the above model is not applicable, and surface tension effects dominate. Bubble coalescence is thought to be the mechanism for CHF under these conditions. Small Bo can result by decreasing the size of a heater in earth gravity, or by operating a large heater in a lower gravity environment. In the microgravity of space, even large heaters can have low Bo, and models based on Helmholtz instability should not be applicable. The macrolayer model of Haramura and Katto is dimensionally equivalent to Zuber's model and has the same dependence on gravity, so it should not be applicable as well. The goal of this work is to determine how boiling heat transfer mechanisms in a low-g environment are altered from those at higher gravity levels. Boiling data using a microheater array was obtained under gravity environments ranging from 1.8 g to 0.02 g with heater sizes ranging from 2.7 mm to 1 mm. The boiling behavior for 2.7 mm at 0.02 g looked quite similar to boiling on the 1 mm heater at 1 g-the formation of a large primary bubble surrounded by smaller satellite bubbles was observed under both conditions. The similarity suggests that for heaters smaller than some fraction of I(sub c), coalescence and surface tension dominate boiling heat transfer. It also suggests that microgravity boiling can be studied by studying boiling on very small heaters.
Publication Date: Nov 01, 2002
Document ID:
(Acquired Jan 17, 2003)
Document Type: Conference Paper
Publication Information: Sixth Microgravity Fluid Physics and Transport Phenomena Conference; Volume 1; 579-605; (NASA/CP-2002-211212/VOL1); (SEE 20030003624)
Financial Sponsor: NASA; Washington, DC United States
Organization Source: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH United States
Description: 27p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
› Back to Top
Find Similar Records
NASA Logo, External Link
NASA Official: Gerald Steeman
Site Curator: STI Program
Last Modified: September 08, 2011
Contact Us