The critical heat flux (CHF) condition sets an upper limit on the flow-boiling heat transfer process. With the growing demand for the use of two-phase flow in micro and nano-sized devices, there is a strong need to understand the CHF phenomenon in channels of such small dimensions. This study experimentally investigates the critical heat flux condition during flow boiling in a single stainless steel microtube of two different diameters—0.427mm, and 0.286 mm. Degassed water is the working fluid. The effects of various parameters—diameter, mass flux (350–1500 kg/m2s), inlet subcooling (2°C–50°C), and length-to-diameter ratio (75–200) on the CHF condition are studied for the exit condition being nearly atmospheric pressure. The CHF increases with an increase in mass flux. The effect of the inlet subcooling on the CHF condition is more complex. With a decreasing inlet subcooling, the CHF decreases until saturated liquid is reached; thereafter, the CHF increases with quality.

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