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Phase Change in a Three-Dimensional Rectangular Cavity Under Electromagnetically Simulated Low Gravity: Side Wall Heating

[+] Author Affiliations
Douglas L. Veilleux

Raytheon Company, Portsmouth, RI

Eduardo Gonçalves, Mohammad Faghri

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

Yutaka Asako

Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan

M. Charmchi

University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56045, pp. 131-144; 14 pages
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 2, Parts A and B
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4691-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


In this paper, a low gravity environment has been simulated numerically, via an electromagnetic field, by studying the transport phenomena associated with the melting of an electrically conducting phase change material (gallium) inside a three-dimensional enclosure. Both transverse electric and magnetic fields are used to generate a Lorentz force, which is used to counteract the effects of gravity and thus simulate low gravity. The problem is formulated as one-domain by employing an enthalpy-based transformation of the energy equation. The governing equations are then discretized using a control-volume-based finite difference scheme. The results show that the application of an electromagnetic filed can be used to simulate key melting characteristics found for actual low gravity. However, the resulting three-dimensional flow field in the melted region differs from actual low gravity. The application of an electromagnetic field creates a flow phenomenon not found in actual low gravity or previously seen in two-dimensional problems. While these distortions do exist when an electromagnetic field is applied, their intensity is significantly lower than the distortions are found when only a magnetic filed is applied. Since these distortions are of much lower intensity, it can be said that low gravity can be simulated better by an electromagnetic field.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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