Experimental work was undertaken to investigate the process by which pool-boiling critical heat flux (CHF) occurs using an IR camera to measure the local temperature and heat transfer coefficients on a heated silicon surface. The wetted area fraction (WF), the contact line length density (CLD), the frequency between dryout events, the lifetime of the dry patches, the speed of the advancing and receding contact lines, the dry patch size distribution on the surface, and the heat transfer from the liquid-covered areas were measured throughout the boiling curve. Quantitative analysis of this data at high heat flux and transition through CHF revealed that the boiling curve can simply be obtained by weighting the heat flux from the liquid-covered areas by WF. CHF mechanisms proposed in the literature were evaluated against the observations.

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