Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Volume 34, Issue 4, May 2010, Pages 463-473
Film thickness measurement techniques applied to micro-scale two-phase flow systems
Cristiano Bigonha Tibiriçáa, Francisco Júlio do Nascimentoa, and Gherhardt RibatskiRecently semi-empirical models to estimate flow boiling heat transfer coefficient, saturated CHF and pressure drop in micro-scale channels have been proposed. Most of the models were developed based on elongated bubbles and annular flows in the view of the fact that these flow patterns are predominant in smaller channels. In these models, the liquid film thickness plays an important role and such a fact emphasizes that the accurate measurement of the liquid film thickness is a key point to validate them. On the other hand, several techniques have been successfully applied to measure liquid film thicknesses during condensation and evaporation under macro-scale conditions. However, although this subject has been targeted by several leading laboratories around the world, it seems that there is no conclusive result describing a successful technique capable of measuring dynamic liquid film thickness during evaporation inside micro-scale round channels. This work presents a comprehensive literature review of the methods used to measure liquid film thickness in macro- and micro-scale systems. The methods are described and the main difficulties related to their use in micro-scale systems are identified. Based on this discussion, the most promising methods to measure dynamic liquid film thickness in micro-scale channels are identified.
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