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Falling Films in Micro- and Minigrooves: Heat Transfer and Flow Stability

[+] Author Affiliations
Tatiana Gambaryan-Roisman, Peter Stephan

Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany

Paper No. ICMM2003-1054, pp. 449-456; 8 pages
  • ASME 2003 1st International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • 1st International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Rochester, New York, USA, April 24–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3667-3
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Structured (in particular, micro- and minigrooved) wall surfaces may improve numerous industrial processes, including falling film evaporation, thin film evaporation in lean premixed prevaporized combustion technology (LPP), and spray and jet cooling. The advantages of such surfaces include the promotion of ultra-thin film evaporation at the apparent contact lines and the prevention of dry patches on hot surfaces. However, the behavior of thin film flow on structured surfaces has not yet been comprehensively studied. We derive a model describing the heat transfer in liquid film flowing down inclined micro- or minigrooved walls. The derived model accounts for peculiarities of the evaporation process in the vicinity of the liquid-vapor-solid contact line (“micro region”) and their effect on the overall heat transfer rate. It is shown that the effect of the micro region is to increase the overall heat transfer rate at the constant fluid flow rate. A long-wave stability analysis has been performed to quantify the effect of the capillary structure on the film stability properties. Sinusoidal and triangular longitudinal groove shapes have been considered. Two cases have been studied: (i) the film completely covers the wall structure; (ii) the film partly covers the wall structure. It is shown that the longitudinal grooves completely covered by the liquid have a stabilizing effect on the falling film flow. The performed analysis is a step towards modeling the wavy motion of the liquid film on grooved surfaces.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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