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Theoretical Analysis on Film Thickness of Intertube Falling-Film Flow With a Countercurrent Gas Flow

[+] Author Affiliations
Binglu Ruan

Tsinghua University, Beijing; Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Huan Li

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Qiuwang Wang

Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Paper No. IMECE2011-64425, pp. 881-888; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In falling–film type of heat exchangers, gas/vapor usually exists, and its effect on falling-film mode transitions and heat transfer could not be neglected. It could impact the film thickness, which is an important parameter to determine the thin-film heat transfer performance, or even destroy falling-film modes and significantly deteriorate the heat transfer. However, there have been very few studies of countercurrent gas flow effects on the film thickness. In this paper, the falling-film film thickness with and without liquid-gas interfacial shear stress due to the countercurrent gas flow was studied. A two-phase empirical correlation is used to solve the momentum equation. Calculation results were compared with available experimental data in literatures for validation. Reasonable agreement was achieved. Thus, the two-phase correlation for predicting shear stress of a thin film flow inside a vertical rectangular channel has been extended to a new type of flow. Effects of film Reynolds number, gas velocity, and gas-channel equivalent hydraulic diameter on the film thickness were studied. It is shown that the countercurrent gas flow thickened the falling film. The increased film thickness can shift the mode transitional Reynolds number and reduce the heat transfer coefficient, corroborating the conjecture in our earlier work.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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