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Acta Astronautica

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 64  |  Issue: 2-3  |  Page No.: 188 - 194

Subcooled pool boiling on thin wire in microgravity

J.F. Zhao, S.X. Wan, G. Liu, N. Yan and W. R. Hu


A new set of experimental data of subcooled pool boiling on a thin wire in microgravity aboard the 22nd Chinese recoverable satellite is reported in the present paper. The temperature-controlled heating method is used. The results of the experiments in normal gravity before and after the flight experiment are also presented, and compared with those in microgravity. The working fluid is degassed R113 at 0.1 MPa and subcooled by 26°C nominally. A thin platinum wire of 60μm in diameter and 30 mm in length is simultaneously used as heater and thermometer. It is found that the heat transfer of nucleate pool boiling is slightly enhanced in microgravity comparing with those in normal gravity. It is also found that the correlation of Lienhard and Dhir can predict the CHF with good agreement, although the range of the dimensionless radius is extended by three or more decades above the originally set limit. Three critical bubble diameters are observed in microgravity, which divide the observed vapor bubbles into four regimes with different sizes. Considering the Marangoni effect, a qualitative model is proposed to reveal the mechanism underlying the bubble departure processes, and a quantitative agreement can also be acquired.

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