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Surfactants for Bubble Removal against Buoyancy.


ABSTRACT: The common phenomenon of buoyancy-induced vapor bubble lift-off from a heated surface is of importance to many areas of science and technology. In the absence of buoyancy in zero gravity of space, non-departing bubbles coalesce to form a big dry patch on the heated surface and heat transfer deteriorates despite the high latent heat of vaporization of water. The situation is worse on an inverted heater in earth gravity where both buoyancy and surface tension act upwards to oppose bubble removal. Here we report a robust passive technique which uses surfactants found in common soaps and detergents to avoid coalescence and remove bubbles downwards, away from an inverted heater. A force balance model is developed to demonstrate that the force of repulsion resulting from the interaction of surfactants adsorbed at the neighboring liquid-vapor interfaces of the thin liquid film contained between bubbles is strong enough to overcome buoyancy and surface tension. Bubble removal frequencies in excess of ten Hz resulted in more than twofold enhancement in heat transfer in comparison to pure water. We believe that this novel bubble removal mechanism opens up opportunities for designing boiling-based systems for space applications.

SUBMITTER: Raza MQ 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4705484 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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