Effects of carbon nanotube arrays on nucleate pool boiling
Date of this Version3-27-2007
This document has been peer-reviewed.
Experiments were performed to assess the impact coating silicon and copper substrates with nanotubes (CNTs) have on pool boiling performance. Different CNT array densities and area coverages were tested on 1.27 mm2 samples in FC-72. The CNT preparation techniques used provided strong adherence of CNTs to both substrate materials. Very small contact angle enabled deep penetration of FC-72 liquid inside surface cavities of smooth uncoated silicon surfaces, requiring unusually high surface superheat to initiate boiling. Fully coating the substrate surface with CNTs was highly effective at reducing the incipience superheat and greatly enhancing both the nucleate boiling heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux (CHF). Efforts to further improve boiling performance by manipulating CNT area coverage of the substrate surface proved ineffective; best results were consistently realized with full surface coverage. Greater enhancement was achieved on silicon than on copper since, compared to uncoated copper surfaces, the uncoated silicon surfaces were very smooth and void of any sizeable nucleation sites to start with. This study is concluded with detailed metrics to assess the enhancement potential of the different CNT array densities and area coverages tested.