The phenomenon of bubble growth on a heated surface is of fundamental importance in many scientific and engineering applications, including boiling heat transfer. Although the growth of a homogeneous bubble in a pool of hot liquid is well understood, bubbles growing on hot solid surfaces involve evaporation from a three-phase contact line and therefore exhibit several peculiar features. One of these is the effect of surface texture and wetting properties on the size and timing of bubbles that form and depart from a uniformly heated surface. Here, we present pool boiling experimental results elucidating this important phenomenon. Using high-speed optical imaging, we perform a comparative study of the process of growth and departure of bubbles on plain and rough surfaces and explore the different factors that dictate this behavior. Using scaling analysis, we analyze the primary forces acting on a growing bubble and show that the effect of surface roughness on bubble behavior can be explained in terms of the dependence of these forces on the rate of bubble growth and in-turn on the rate of thin-film evaporation from the three-phase contact line of the bubble.

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