Analytical and Experimental Investigation of Thermal and Helium Lift-Pumping Recirculation Systems

  • H. F. Trucks
  • W. O. Randolph
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 10)


Geysering is a process by which rapid vapor formation within liquid-filled vertical columns causes rapid expulsion of all or portions of the contained liquid into an overhead container. Geysering associated with space vehicle cryogenic systems is attributed to heat flow into a cryogenic suction line which is attached to a propellant tank of greater diameter. Restricted convective boundary layers in the line allow the liquid to reach local saturation temperature. Formation of vapor in the suction line causes liquid displacement into the larger diameter tank, thereby reducing the effective hydrostatic head. Reduction of hydrostatic head causes additional vapor generation which rapidly displaces more liquid into the tank. Whenever liquid refills the suction line after a geyser, detrimental pressure surge or “water hammer” frequently occurs.


Heat Flux Feed Line Recirculation System Heat Leak Water Hammer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. F. Trucks
    • 1
  • W. O. Randolph
    • 1
  1. 1.NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA

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