Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 52, Issue 9, pp 1725–1737 | Cite as

Pool boiling of water on nano-structured micro wires at sub-atmospheric conditions

  • Mahendra Arya
  • Sameer Khandekar
  • Dheeraj Pratap
  • S. Anantha Ramakrishna


Past decades have seen active research in enhancement of boiling heat transfer by surface modifications. Favorable surface modifications are expected to enhance boiling efficiency. Several interrelated mechanisms such as capillarity, surface energy alteration, wettability, cavity geometry, wetting transitions, geometrical features of surface morphology, etc., are responsible for change in the boiling behavior of modified surfaces. Not much work is available on pool boiling at low pressures on microscale/nanoscale geometries; low pressure boiling is attractive in many applications wherein low operating temperatures are desired for a particular working fluid. In this background, an experimental setup was designed and developed to investigate the pool boiling performance of water on (a) plain aluminum micro wire (99.999 % pure) and, (b) nano-porous alumina structured aluminum micro wire, both having diameter of 250 µm, under sub-atmospheric pressure. Nano-structuring on the plain wire surface was achieved via anodization. Two samples, A and B of anodized wires, differing by the degree of anodization were tested. The heater length scale (wire diameter) was much smaller than the capillary length scale. Pool boiling characteristics of water were investigated at three different sub-atmospheric pressures of 73, 123 and 199 mbar (corresponding to T sat  = 40, 50 and 60 °C). First, the boiling characteristics of plain wire were measured. It was noticed that at sub-atmospheric pressures, boiling heat transfer performance for plain wire was quite low due to the increased bubble sizes and low nucleation site density. Subsequently, boiling performance of nano-structured wires (both Sample A and Sample B) was compared with plain wire and it was noted that boiling heat transfer for the former was considerably enhanced as compared to the plain wire. This enhancement is attributed to increased nucleation site density, change in wettability and possibly due to enhanced pore scale evaporation. A preliminary estimation of the bubble growth rates, measured by high speed videography, was undertaken and compared with classical bubble growth rate correlations. It was observed that the average bubble departure sizes on Sample B were larger as compared to plain wire, due to larger surface forces holding the bubble before departure. Bubble condensation in the thermal boundary layer was also captured.


Heat Transfer Coefficient Saturation Pressure Boiling Heat Transfer Aluminum Wire Anodize Wire 
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List of symbols


Cross-sectional area of wire (m2)


Surface area of wire (m2)


Diameter (m)


Gravitational acceleration (m/s2)


Heat transfer coefficient (W/m2 K)


Latent heat of vaporization (J/kg)


Capillary length scale (m)


Length (m)


Pressure (N/m2)

\(q^{\prime \prime }\)

Heat flux (W/m2)


Resistance (Ω)


Temperature (°C or K)

Greek symbols


Temperature coefficient of resistance (K−1)


Measurement uncertainty (−)

\(\hat{\rho }\)

Resistivity (Ω m)


Density (kg/m3)


Surface tension (N/m)


Contact angle (°)


l, f


v, g











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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahendra Arya
    • 1
  • Sameer Khandekar
    • 1
  • Dheeraj Pratap
    • 2
  • S. Anantha Ramakrishna
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KanpurKanpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsIndian Institute of Technology KanpurKanpurIndia

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