In this study, we successfully utilize the microscale schlieren method to visualize the microscale mass transport near the vapor–liquid interface during boiling of 2-propanol/water mixtures in a square capillary. Because the variation in the refractive index with composition is much greater than that with temperature, the microscale schlieren method proves to be a powerful tool for investigating the solutocapillary convection without the interference of thermocapillarity. When the difference between the equilibrium vapor and liquid mole fractions is large, we observe high concentration gradients near the vapor–liquid interface due to both mass diffusion and the solutocapillary effects. Although the solutocapillary convection is decidedly affected by the eruptive nature of the boiling process, the near-bubble mass transport still plays a vital role in boiling heat transfer. In a square capillary of d = 900 μm, mass diffusion dominates and the depletion of 2-propanol near the vapor–liquid interface increases. This leads to an increase in the local bubble point causing the deterioration of heat transfer for 2-propanol/water mixtures. However, in the smaller square capillary of d = 500 μm, the solutocapillary effect becomes more important. The induced convection near the contact line helps to augment the boiling heat transfer at x = 0.015, despite the fact that mass diffusion tends to cause a higher concentration gradient normal to the bubble front during the boiling process. Herein, we prove that the microscale schlieren method is able to provide valuable insight into the leverage between different mechanisms in heat transfer during the vaporization process of 2-propanol/water mixtures in a square capillary.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 3, 2014
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