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Force Analysis of Bubble Dynamics in Flow Boiling Silicon Nanowire Microchannels

[+] Author Affiliations
Tamanna Alam, Wenming Li, Ahmed Shehab Khan, Yan Tong, Jamil Khan, Chen Li

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Fanghao Yang

IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY

Jing Li, Zuankai Wang

City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Paper No. MNHMT2016-6714, pp. V001T03A009; 9 pages
  • ASME 2016 5th International Conference on Micro/Nanoscale Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Volume 1: Micro/Nanofluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip; Nanofluids; Micro/Nanoscale Interfacial Transport Phenomena; Micro/Nanoscale Boiling and Condensation Heat Transfer; Micro/Nanoscale Thermal Radiation; Micro/Nanoscale Energy Devices and Systems
  • Biopolis, Singapore, January 4–6, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4965-1
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


In microchannel flow boiling, bubble nucleation, growth and flow regime development are highly influenced by channel cross-section and physical phenomena underlying this mechanism are far from being well-established. Relative effects of different forces acting on wall-liquid and liquid-vapor interface of a confined bubble play an important role in heat transfer performances. Therefore, fundamental investigations are necessary to develop enhanced microchannel heat transfer surfaces. Force analysis of vapor bubble dynamics in flow boiling Silicon Nanowire (SiNW) microchannels has been performed based on theoretical, experimental and visualization studies. The relative effects of different forces on flow regime, instability and heat transfer performances of flow boiling in Silicon Nanowire microchannels have been identified. Inertia, surface tension, shear, buoyancy, and evaporation momentum forces have significant importance at liquid-vapor interface as discussed earlier by several authors. However, no comparative study has been done for different surface properties till date. Detailed analyses of these forces including contact angle and bubble flow boiling characteristics have been conducted in this study. A comparative study between Silicon Nanowire and Plainwall microchannels has been performed based on force analysis in the flow boiling microchannels. In addition, force analysis during instantaneous bubble growth stage has been performed. Compared to Plainwall microchannels, enhanced surface rewetting and critical heat flux (CHF) are owing to higher surface tension force at liquid-vapor interface and Capillary dominance resulting from Silicon Nanowires. Whereas, low Weber number in Silicon Nanowire helps maintaining uniform and stable thin film and improves heat transfer performances. Moreover, force analysis during instantaneous bubble growth shows the dominance of surface tension at bubble nucleation and slug/transitional flow which resulted higher heat transfer contact area, lower thermal resistance and higher thin film evaporation. Whereas, inertia force is dominant at annular flow and it helps in bubble removal process and rewetting.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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