The mechanism responsible for Critical Heat Flux (CHF) depends on the flow regime. In the annular flow regime it is normally assumed that CHF occurs when the liquid film dries out. The quality at the onset of annular flow varies, but is generally a few percent, and phenomenological models to predict CHF are routinely applied at qualities above this value. In this paper we will demonstrate that annular flow film dryout cannot occur until a quality significantly greater than this. This finding means that for a large fraction of the annular flow regime the film dryout mechanism cannot be responsible for CHF. This finding provides guidance as to under what circumstances such phenomenological models may properly be used.

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