Experimental data are presented which indicate the effects of a thin layer of unconfined particles on saturated pool boiling heat transfer from a horizontal surface. Results are presented for two different types of particles: (1) 0.275 and 0.475-mm-dia glass spheres which have low density and thermal conductivity, and (2) 0.100 and 0.200-mm-dia copper spheres which have high density and thermal conductivity. These two particle types are the extremes of particles found as corrosion products or contaminants in boiling systems. To ensure that the surface nucleation characteristics were well defined, polished chrome surfaces with a finite number of artificial nucleation sites were used. Experimental results are reported for heat fluxes between 20 kW/m2 and 100kW/m2 using water at 1 atm as a coolant. For both particle types, vapor was observed to move upward through chimneys in the particle layer, tending to fluidize the layer. Compared with ordinary pool boiling at the same surface heat flux level, the experiments indicate that addition of light, low-conductivity particles significantly increases the wall superheat, whereas addition of heavier, high-conductivity particles decreases wall superheat. Heat transfer coefficients measured in the experiments with a layer of copper particles were found to be as much as a factor of two larger than those measured for ordinary pool boiling at the same heat flux level. The results further indicate that at least for thin layers, the boiling curve is insensitive to layer thickness. These results are shown to be consistent with the expected effects of the particles on nucleation, fluid motion, and effective conductivity in the pool at or near the surface. The effect of surface nucleation site density on heat transfer with a particle layer present is also discussed.

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