To understand the boiling crisis mechanism, one can take advantage of the slowing down of boiling at high pressures, in the close vicinity of the liquid-vapor critical point of the given fluid. To preserve conventional bub- ble geometry, such experiments need to be carried out in low gravity. We report here two kinds of saturated boiling experiments. First we discuss the spatial experiments with SF6 at 46 ◦ C. Next we address two ground-based experi- ments under magnetic gravity compensation with H2 at 33 K. We compare both kinds of experiments and show their complementarity. The dry spots under vapor bubbles are visualized by using transparent heaters made with metal oxide films. We evidence two regimes of the dry spots growth: the regime of circular dry spots and the regime of chain coalescence of dry spots that immediately pre- cedes the heater dryout. A recent H2 experiment is shown to bridge the gap between the near-critical and low pressure boiling experiments.
Research Containing: Fluid
Capillary Channel Flow (CCF) EU2–02 on the International Space Station (ISS): An Experimental Investigation of Passive Bubble Separations in an Open Capillary Channel
It would be signi cantly easier to design uid systems for spacecraft if the uid phases behaved similarly to those on earth. In this research an open 15:8 wedge- sectioned channel is employed to separate bubbles from a two-phase ow in a micro- gravity environment. The bubbles appear to rise in the channel and coalesce with the free surface in much the same way as would bubbles in a terrestrial environ- ment, only the combined e ects of surface tension, wetting, and conduit geometry replace the role of buoyancy. The host liquid is drawn along the channel by a pump and noncondensible gas bubbles are injected into it near the channel vertex at the channel inlet. Control parameters include bubble volume, bubble frequency, liq- uid volumetric ow rate, and channel length. The asymmetrically con ned bubbles are driven in the cross- ow direction by capillary forces until they at least become inscribed within the section or until they come in contact with the free surface, whereupon they usually coalesce and leave the ow. The merging of bubbles en- hances, but does not guarantee, the latter. The experiments are performed aboard the International Space Station as a subset of the Capillary Channel Flow experi- ments. The ight hardware is commanded remotely and continuously from ground stations during the tests and an extensive array of experiments is conducted identi- fying numerous bubble ow regimes and regime transitions depending on the ratio and magnitude of the gas and liquid volumetric ow rates. The breadth of the pub- licly available experiments is conveyed herein primarily by narrative and by regime maps, where transitions are approximated by simple expressions immediately useful for the purposes of design and deeper analysis.
Near the critical point of fluids, critical opalescence results in light attenuation, or turbidity increase, that can be used to probe the universality of critical behavior. Turbidity measurements in SF6 under weightlessness conditions on board the International Space Station are performed to appraise such behavior in terms of both temperature and density distances from the critical point. Data are obtained in a temperature range, far (1 K) from and extremely close (a few muK) to the phase transition, unattainable from previous experiments on Earth. Data are analyzed with renormalization-group matching classical-to-critical crossover models of the universal equation of state. It results that the data in the unexplored region, which is a minute deviant from the critical density value, still show adverse effects for testing the true asymptotic nature of the critical point phenomena.
We study the singular event which took place when conducting an experiment with a liquid bridge aboard the International Space Station. The liquid bridge vibrated unexpectedly for several tens of seconds with an oscillation amplitude larger than 15% of its radius. At first glance, the analysis of the mass force measured by the accelerometer during the oscillation did not show any significant perturbation. However, our study reveals the existence of two small-amplitude vibrations of the experimental setup with practically the resonance frequency of the first lateral mode. These vibrations occurred a few tens of seconds before the liquid bridge oscillation reached its maximum amplitude, produced a mass force with a magnitude of the order of 10−5g. The numerical integration of the non-linear Navier–Stokes equations reproduces remarkably well the free surface oscillations measured in the experiments. It allows us to reconstruct the three-dimensional liquid bridge motion which took place in the experiment. The present study illustrates the sensitivity of liquid bridges in a microgravity environment, where tiny perturbations may produce significant vibrations which survive over long periods of time.
This paper provides a current overview of the in-flight operations and experimental results of the capillary flow experiment (CFE) performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) beginning August 2004 to present, with at least 16 operations to date by five astronauts. CFE consists of six approximately 1–2 kg experiment units designed to probe certain capillary phenomena of fundamental and applied importance, such as capillary flow in complex containers, critical wetting in discontinuous structures, and large length scale contact line dynamics. Highly quantitative video images from the simply performed experiments provide direct confirmation of the usefulness of current analytical design tools as well as provide guidance to the development of new ones. A description of the experiments, crew procedures, performances and status of the data collection and reduction is provided for the project. The specific experimental objectives are briefly introduced by way of the crew procedures and a sample of the verified theoretical predictions of the fluid behavior is provided. The potential impact of the flight experiments on the design of spacecraft fluid systems is discussed in passing.
Preliminary Results from the Capillary Flow Experiment Aboard ISS: The Moving Contact Line Boundary Condition
The Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE) consists of six approximately 2kg test vessels constructed by NASA to probe certain capillary phenomena of fundamental and applied importance. The light weight, low-volume hardware can be shipped to orbit on short notice as cargo space permits and the experiment performed in stand-alone mode by a single crewmember on, for example, the Maintenance Work Area (workbench) of the International Space Station. Video images from the simply performed crew procedures provide highly quantitative data for the confirmation of current analytical design tools as well as directions for further theoretical development. This paper presents a narrative of preliminary results from the first Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE) conducted aboard ISS in August-September 2004. The tests are performed as per of NASA’s Saturday Morning Science Program on ISS and completed in good order by Astronaut Michael Fincke who collected approximately 100 data sets that compare large length scale capillary surface oscillations and damping for two otherwise identical cylindrical tanks differing only in respect to a critical yet uncertain boundary condition at the contact line. Linear, nonlinear, and destabilizing slosh, swirl, axial, and other disturbances are studied. The large data set is being reduced for comparisons to the blind predication of a group of numerical analysis assembled to gauge the accuracy of present methods to predict large length scale capillary dynamics critical to fluids management in spacecraft (i.e. fuels, cryogens, water). The success of the experiment reported herein serves as a testimony to astronaut ingenuity and the perhaps surprisingly flexible fluids laboratory of the ISS for safe and simple fluids experimentation.
This paper provides a summary of the experimental, analytical, and numerical results of the Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE) performed onboard the International Space Station (ISS) from Increment 9 (beginning August, 2004) through Increment 16 (ending December, 2007), with 19 operations by 7 astronauts; M. Fincke, W. McGarthur, J. Williams, S. Williams, M. Lopez-Alegria, C. Anderson, and P. Whitson. CFE consists of 6 approximately 1 to 2kg experiment units designed to probe certain capillary phenomena of fundamental and applied importance, such as capillary flow in complex containers, critical wetting in discontinuous structures, and large length scale contact line dynamics. Highly quantitative video images from the simply performed flight experiments provide immediate confirmation of the usefulness of current analytical design tools as well as provide guidance to the development of new ones. A brief review of the experiments and procedures is provided before reporting the status of the data collection, reduction, and comparisons with both analytic and numerical predictions. The products of the work include design tools for modeling capillary interface dynamics relevant to spacecraft engineering systems. The CFE experimental program was initiated in February 2003 as part of a fast-paced unscheduled payloads/experiments program. All six of the units were performed on standby or at times as part of NASA Saturday Science and all units have been returned to Earth for post flight analysis. The experiments were conducted in stand-alone mode by a single crewmember on the Maintenance Work Area of the ISS.
Everybody is familiar with the action of gravity on a fluid where density gradients are present due to heating or compositional difference. Due to buoyancy, the denser portions sink to the bottom of the container, pushing away the lighter ones. As a result, convection sets in, transporting heat and mass. In weightlessness conditions, this driving force is absent but inertia exists as the tendency of a body to resist acceleration. When a container filled with liquid is subjected to high frequency vibrations, the fluid is not able to react due to inertia and this may create a flow. If the density is uniform, then the fluid moves as a solid body. However, when density gradient is present, also inertia will not be uniform, resulting in convective motion. Obviously, there is analogy between gravity-induced and inertia-driven convection, as a result of the Einstein equivalence principle, although the second one is almost unknown. What would be the impact of vibration on dispersion by molecular diffusion and heat transfer without buoyancy?
Boiling phenomena in the two-phase region of SF6 close to its critical point have been observed using the high-quality thermal and optical environment of the CNES dedicated facility ALI-DECLIC on board the International Space Station (ISS). The weightlessness environment of the fluid, which cancels buoyancy forces and favorites the three-dimensional spherical shape of the gas bubble, is proven to be an irreplaceable powerful tool for boiling studies. To identify each key mechanism of the boiling phenomena, the ALI-DECLIC experiments have benefited from (i) the well-adapted design of the test cells, (ii) the high-fidelity of the ALI insert teleoperation when long-duration experiment in stable thermal and microgravity environment are required and (iii) the high repeatability of the controlled thermal disturbances. These key mechanisms were observed by light transmission and interferometry technique independently with two sample cells filled with pure SF6 at a near-critical density. The fluid samples are driven away from thermal equilibrium by using a heater directly implemented in the fluid, or a surface heater on a sapphire optical window. In the interferometry cell, the bulk massive heater distinguishes two symmetrical two-phase domains. The modification of the gas bubble shape is observed during heating. In the direct observation cell, the gas bubble is separated by a liquid film from the thin layered transparent heater deposited on the sapphire window. The liquid film drying and the triple contact line motion during heating are observed using light transmission. The experiments have been performed in a temperature range of 10 K below the critical temperature Tc, with special attention to the range 0.1 mK ≤ T c − T ≤ 3 mK very close to the critical temperature. The unique advantage of this investigation is to provide opportunities to observe the boiling phenomena at very low heat fluxes, thanks to the fine adjustment of the liquid–vapor properties, (e.g. surface tension), by precise control of the distance to the critical point. We present the new observations of the gas bubble spreading over the heating surface which characterizes the regime where vapor bubbles nucleate separately and grow, as well as liquid drying, vapor film formation, triple contact line motion, which are the key mechanisms at the origin of the boiling crisis when the formed vapor film reduces the heat transfer drastically at the heater wall.