Single-bubble dynamics in pool boiling of one-component fluids

Xinpeng Xu*, Tiezheng Qian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We numerically investigate the pool boiling of one-component fluids with a focus on the effects of surface wettability on the single-bubble dynamics. We employed the dynamic van der Waals theory [Phys. Rev. E 75, 036304 (2007)PLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.75.036304], a diffuse-interface model for liquid-vapor flows involving liquid-vapor transition in nonuniform temperature fields. We first perform simulations for bubbles on homogeneous surfaces. We find that an increase in either the contact angle or the surface superheating can enhance the bubble spreading over the heating surface and increase the bubble departure diameter as well and therefore facilitate the transition into film boiling. We then examine the dynamics of bubbles on patterned surfaces, which incorporate the advantages of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. The central hydrophobic region increases the thermodynamic probability of bubble nucleation while the surrounding hydrophilic region hinders the continuous bubble spreading by pinning the contact line at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic intersection. This leads to a small bubble departure diameter and therefore prevents the transition from nucleate boiling into film boiling. With the bubble nucleation probability increased and the bubble departure facilitated, the efficiency of heat transfer on such patterned surfaces is highly enhanced, as observed experimentally [Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer 57, 733 (2013)IJHMAK0017- 931010.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2012.10.080]. In addition, the stick-slip motion of contact line on patterned surfaces is demonstrated in one-component fluids, with the effect weakened by surface superheating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063002
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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