An experimental investigation of melting and cyclic melting and freezing around a vertical cylinder is reported. The studies encompass two cases: a plain vertical cylinder, and a vertical cylinder with fins. In the melting studies, the total heat transfer from the cylinder was measured as a function of time. In addition, measurements have been made of the solid-liquid interface shape after various melting times. In these studies, the solid phase was initially isothermal and either at its fusion temperature or subcooled below the fusion point. The experiments reveal the important influence of natural convection in the liquid phase in both unfinned and finned situations. Subcooling of the solid phase is observed to strongly inhibit heat transfer in the unfinned situation. In the experiment on cyclic melting and freezing, subcooling of the solid phase is once again found to have an important effect on the unfinned situation. Heat transfer from the finned cylinder is much less affected by solid-phase subcooling. All the experiments were performed with 99 percent pure n-eicosane paraffin.

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