The enhancement of pool boiling heat transfer by copper-particle surface coatings is experimentally investigated, using the wetting dielectric fluid FC-72. In one technique, loose copper particles are placed on a heated copper surface to provide additional vapor nucleation sites in the cavities formed at particlesurface and particle-particle contact points, thereby enhancing boiling performance over a polished surface. This ‘free-particle’ technique is benchmarked against the more traditional technique of sintering a fixed layer of copper particles to the surface to enhance boiling heat transfer performance. The effect of particle size on the heat transfer performance is studied for particle diameters ranging from 45 μm to 1000 μm at a constant coating layer thickness-to-particle diameter ratio of approximately 4. The parametric trends in the boiling curve and the critical heat flux are compared between the two techniques, and the dominant boiling mechanisms influencing these trends are compared and contrasted. High-speed visualizations are performed to qualitatively assess the boiling patterns and bubble departure size/distribution, and thus corroborate the trends observed in the boiling curves. The measured wall superheat is significantly lower with a sintered coating compared to the free-particle layer for any given particle size and heat flux. Performance trends with respect to particle size, however, are remarkably similar for both enhancement techniques, and an optimum particle size of ~100 μm is identified for both free particles and sintered coatings. The free-particle technique is shown to offer a straightforward method to screen the boiling enhancement trends expected from different particulate layer compositions that are intended to be subsequently fabricated by sintering.


pool boiling, porous, sintered, free particles, heat transfer enhancement, particle size

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S. Sarangi, J. A. Weibel and S. V. Garimella, “Effect of Particle Size on Surface-Coating Enhancement of Pool Boiling Heat Transfer,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 81, pp. 103-113, 2015.