Sliding bubbles are known to augment heat transfer rates on the surface on which they slide. The pre-cursor problem — the bubble approaching an inclined superheated wall provides the initial flow and thermal field for the sliding bubble problem. An FC-87 vapor bubble rising in a thermally stratified flow field is simulated along with the bubble wall interaction effects. The simulation is conducted on a dynamic octree grid for improved accuracy and efficiency. The evolution of the bubble shape and the wake behind the rising bubble is captured in a three-dimensional model, which takes into account bubble growth due to superheat at the liquid-vapor interface and the effect of interface heat flux on the local saturation temperature. After the first bubble-wall interaction, a microlayer tens of microns thick forms between the bubble and the wall; a thermal wake develops behind the bubble as it begins to slide against the wall.

The predicted shapes, Re and Weber numbers and microlayer thicknesses show excellent agreement in comparison to experimental data from other researchers. Evolution of the flow and temperature fields were examined with the aid of contours of vapor volume fraction and iso-lines of mixture temperature superimposed on three-dimensional shapes of the bubble. Overall bubble dynamics and microlayer dynamics, including microlayer thickness and microlayer heat flux, are presented as functions of time. Using the wall, microlayer and wake heat transfer rates, an enhancement of the total wall heat flux was found to be on the order of 6 times the background heat flux.

This work describes the bubble evolution through the first rebounding in detail, but the dynamic octree adaption algorithm lends itself to study of the long-term dynamics well into the sliding regime. The technique can also be used to investigate other multiphase flow phenomena — especially bubble coalescence and breakup.

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