Purdue University Graduate School
Vu - Thesis - High-Speed Flow Visualization and IR Imaging of Pool Boiling on Surfaces Having Differing Dynamic Wettabilities.pdf (1.66 MB)

High-Speed Flow Visualization and IR Imaging of Pool Boiling on Surfaces Having Differing Dynamic Wettabilities

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posted on 2020-12-14, 18:18 authored by Nicholas Toan-Nang VuNicholas Toan-Nang Vu
Boiling is used in a wide variety of industries, including electronics cooling, distillation, and power generation. Fundamental studies on the boiling process are needed for effective implementation. Key performance characteristics of boiling are the heat transfer coefficient, which determines the amount of heat flux that can be dissipated for a given superheat, and critical heat flux(CHF), the failure point that occurs when vapor blankets the surface. The wettability of a surface is one of the key parameters that affects boiling behavior. Wetting surfaces(e.g., hydrophilic surfaces), typically characterized by a static contact angle below 90°,have better critical heat flux due to effective rewetting, but compromised heat transfer coefficients due to increased waiting times between nucleation of each bubble. Meanwhile, nonwetting surfaces (e.g., hydrophobic surfaces), characterized by static contact angles greater than 90°, have better heat transfer coefficients due to improved nucleation characteristic, but reach critical heat flux early due to surface dry out. However, recent studies have shown that the static contact angle alone offers and incomplete, and sometimes inaccurate, description of this behavior, which is instead governed entirely by the dynamic wettability. Specifically, the receding contact angle impacts the size and contact area of bubbles forming on a surface during boiling, while the advancing contact angle determines how the bubble departs. With this more complete set of wettability descriptors, three characteristic wetting regimes define the boiling behavior: hygrophilic surfaces having advancing and receding contact angles both under 90°; hygrophobic surfaces having both these dynamic contact angles over 90°;and ambiphilic surfaces having a receding contact angle less than 90°, but an advancing contact angle greater than 90°.The goal of this thesis is to experimentally characterize and compare the behavior of boiling surfaces in each of these regimes, observe the contact line behavior, and explain the mechanisms for their differences in performance.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Justin A. Weibel

Additional Committee Member 2

Peter A. Bermel

Additional Committee Member 3

Terrence R. Meyer