Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Issam Mudawar

Committee Chair

Issam Mudawar

Committee Member 1

Steven Collicott

Committee Member 2

Amy Marconnet


This study explores flow boiling pressure drop of FC-72 in a rectangular channel subjected to single-side and double-sided heating for vertical upflow, vertical downflow, and horizontal flow with positive inlet quality. Analysis of temporal records of pressure transducer signals is used to assess the influences of orientation, mass velocity, inlet quality, heat flux, and single-sided versus double-sided heating on magnitude of pressure drop oscillations, while fast Fourier transforms of the same records are used to capture dominant frequencies of oscillations. Time-averaged pressure drop results are also presented, with trends focusing on the competing influences of body force and flow inertia, and particular attention paid to the impact of vapor content at the test section inlet and the rate of vapor generation within the test section on pressure drop. Several popular pressure drop correlations are evaluated against the present pressure drop database. Predictions are presented for subsets of the database corresponding to low and high ranges of inlet quality and mass velocity. The correlations are ranked based on mean absolute error, overall data trends, and data spread. While most show general success in capturing the data trends, they do so with varying degrees of accuracy.

Further, this study concerns the development of a set of mechanistic criteria capable of predicting the flow conditions for which gravity independent flow condensation heat transfer can be achieved. Using FC-72 as working fluid, a control-volume based annular flow model is solved numerically to provide information regarding the magnitude of different forces acting on the liquid film and identify which forces are dominant for different flow conditions. Separating the influence of body force into two components, one parallel to flow direction and one perpendicular, conclusions drawn from the force term comparison are used to model limiting cases, which are interpreted as transition points for gravity independence. Experimental results for vertical upflow, vertical downflow, and horizontal flow condensation heat transfer coefficients are presented, and show that, for the given test section, mass velocities above 425 kg/m2s ensure gravity independent heat transfer. Parametric evaluation of the criteria using different assumed values of mass velocity, orientation, local acceleration, and exit quality show that the criteria obey physically verifiable trends in line with those exhibited by the experimental results. As an extension, the separated flow model is utilized to provide a more sophisticated approach to determining whether a given configuration will perform independent of gravity. Results from the model show good qualitative agreement with experimental results. Additionally, analysis of trends indicate use of the separated flow model captures physics missed by simpler approaches, demonstrating that use of the separated flow model with the gravity independence criteria constitute a powerful predictive tool for engineers concerned with ensuring gravity independent flow condensation heat transfer performance.