A Visualization Study of Flow Boiling in Reduced Gravity

by:

Tony K Morris, tkm7006@acs.tamu.edu, Mechanical Engineering
Monica R. Gonzales, Civil Engineering
Nicholas C. Kliewer, Electrical Engineering
Chris W. Plummer, Computer Science
Donald P. Shatto, Mechanical Engineering
Dr. G. P. Peterson, Mechanical Engineering

Texas A&M University
College Station Texas

Abstract

An experimental investigation is proposed to study the fundamental phenomena that govern flow boiling in reduced gravity environments. The primary goal of this experimental program is to develop educational and public outreach materials.

Several aspects will be investigated, including the study of the critical heat flux (CHF) due to annular film dryout in saturated flow boiling. The investigation will include ground tests and a series of experiments to be flown aboard the NASA 931 reduced gravity aircraft.

At the conclusion of an extensive literature survey, an analytical model which is capable of predicting the critical heat flux as a function of the gravitational field and other key parameters, will be developed from first principles. An experimental apparatus has been designed to allow visualization data to be obtained using a transparent, glycerine-heated test section. Upon completion of the experimental test program, the experimental results will be compared with the analytical model to provide information regarding the validity of the model and to identify improvements in the modeling procedure.

This experiment has been designed as a collaborative effort between the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer Science at Texas A&M University. The results of this study will be used as the basis for development of educational outreach materials for several programs including Internet video-conferences, interaction with junior technical societies, and public outreach through news media.


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