Physical processes limit the maximum achievable heat flux when miniaturising heat transfer equipment. In case of boiling heat transfer literature reports large pressure fluctuations, flow instabilities, and possible vapour backflow. The occurrence of the flow instabilities during boiling in small channels (defined by the Confinement Number, Co > 0.5) are explained by the formation of slug bubbles blocking the entire channel. These particular bubbles are likely to emerge during nucleate flow boiling in small diameter channels. Slug bubble blockage during flow boiling is investigated experimentally by creating a single hotspot in a small-diameter channel (Co∼5). For different liquid flow rates the detachment length of such a blocking slug bubble is determined. A scaling analysis offers to insight into the physical phenomena causing the flow instabilities. The position of the bubble caps as a function of time is identified as an important parameter.

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