A study of the influence of surface conditions in nucleate pool boiling is presented. The surface conditions are represented by the number and distribution of the active nucleation sites as well as the size and size distribution of the cavities that constitute the nucleation sites. The heat transfer rate during nucleate boiling is shown to be influenced by the surface condition through its effect on the number and distribution of the active nucleation sites as well as the frequency of bubble departure from each of these different size cavities. The concept of bubble flux density, which is a function of both the active site density and the frequency of bubble departure, is introduced. A method of evaluating the bubble flux density is proposed and a uniform correlation between the boiling heat flux and the bubble flux density is found to exist for a particular solid-liquid combination irrespective of the surface finish within the region of isolated bubbles.

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