Colloidal dispersions of nanoparticles are known as ‘nanofluids’. Such engineered fluids offer the potential for enhancing heat transfer, particularly boiling heat transfer, while avoiding the drawbacks (i.e., erosion, settling, clogging) that hindered the use of particle-laden fluids in the past. At MIT we have been studying the heat transfer characteristics of nanofluids for the past five years, with the goal of evaluating their benefits for and applicability to nuclear power systems (i.e., primary coolant, safety systems, severe accident mitigation strategies). This paper will summarize the MIT research in this area with particular emphasis to boiling behavior, including, prominently, the Critical Heat Flux limit and quenching phenomena.

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