Transient boiling in water and Freon 113 with various heater surfaces was investigated experimentally with step power inputs. It was observed that the inception or onset of boiling depends not only on the temperature, but is time dependent as well. This dependence can be explained in terms of a heterogeneous nucleation theory based on the homogeneous nucleation theory. The influence of the heater surface was accounted for by a nucleation factor which is liquid-specific. With this factor and one experimental value of inception for a given system, the time dependence of inception temperature can be computed.

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