When considering the safety of the reactor after the core melted, the external reactor vessel cooling (IVR-ERVC) is regarded as one of the most prominent method and is now widely being studied. And in order to apply this method more efficiently, CHF is the utmost part because it limits the upper threshold of the cooling effect. There has already been a large number of investigation on the CHF both by experiment and simulation. But for the experiment, most of them used the copper for its high thermal conductivity. However, the lower plenum is actually composed of the carbon steel instead of copper since the reactor pressure vessel and some core catchers in nuclear power plants are made of this material.
This CHF experiment here used carbon steel plate on a downward face. The carbon steel plate was attached to the copper base by solder. The results of the carbon steel plate experiment were then analyzed. After polishing the surface by sandpapers, the heat flux is being increased until CHF was reached. We found that the surface is somehow changed during the heating process. This process was repeated several times, and the growing tendency of the CHF was found. Detailed images of the heating surface acquired by high speed camera under different heat fluxes were also obtained and analyzed. It was found that the more the oxidization was, the fewer bubbles were generated and the bigger the CHF was. Finally some theories of the CHF mechanism were also analyzed. The authors hope that study could shed some light on surface effect on causing different CHF.