Recently, a review article titled “Two-phase flow and pool boiling heat transfer in microgravity”, which was written by Prof. Jianfu Zhao of the Key Laboratory of Microgravity (National Microgravity Laboratory) / CAS (NMLC), was published in Int. J. Multiphase Flow, Volume 36, Issue 2, 2010, pp. 135-143.
In this article, a series of researches conducted in NMLC on two-phase flow and pool boiling heat transfer in microgravity were summarized, including ground-based tests, flight experiments, and theoretical analyses. A semi-theoretical Weber number model was proposed to predict the slug-to-annular flow transition of two-phase gas-liquid flows in microgravity, while the influence of the initial bubble size on the bubble-to-slug flow transition was investigated numerically using the Monte Carlo method. Two-phase flow pattern maps in microgravity were obtained in the experiments both aboard the Russian space station Mir and aboard IL-76 reduced gravity airplane. Mini-scale modeling was also used to simulate the behavior of microgravity two-phase flow on the ground. Pressure drops of two-phase flow in microgravity were also measured experimentally and correlated successfully based on its characteristics. Two space experiments on pool boiling phenomena in microgravity were performed aboard the Chinese recoverable satellites. Steady pool boiling of R113 on a thin wire with a temperature-controlled heating method was studied aboard RS-22, while quasi-steady pool boiling of FC-72 on a plate was studied aboard SJ-8. Ground-based experiments were also performed both in normal gravity and in short-term microgravity in the drop tower Beijing. Only slight enhancement of heat transfer was observed in the wire case, while enhancement in low heat flux and deterioration in high heat flux were observed in the plate case. Lateral motions of vapor bubbles were observed before their departure in microgravity. The relationship between bubble behavior and heat transfer on plate was analyzed. A semi-theoretical model was also proposed for predicting the bubble departure diameter during pool boiling on wires. The results obtained here are intended to become a powerful aid for further investigation in the present discipline and development of two-phase systems for space applications.
There are totally 8 review articles written by some well-known researchers from China in the same issue, which is the first special issue for multiphase flow research in China published in this famous journal.