While the role of the liquid properties, surface morphology, and operating conditions on critical heat flux (CHF) in pool boiling is well investigated, the effect of the properties of the heater material is not well understood. Previous studies indicate that the heater thickness plays an important role on the CHF phenomenon. However, beyond a certain thickness, called the asymptotic thickness, the local temperature fluctuations on the heater surface caused by the periodic bubble ebullition cycle are evened out, and the CHF is not influenced by further increasing the thickness. In the present work, data from literature and pool boiling experiments conducted in this study with seven substrates—aluminum, brass, copper, carbon steel, Monel 400, silver, and silicon—are used to determine the effect of the thermophysical property of the material on CHF for thick heaters that are used in industrial pool boiling applications. The results indicate that the product of density (ρ) and specific heat (cp) represents an important substrate property group that affects the CHF, and that the thermal conductivity is not an important parameter. A well-established force-balance-based CHF model (Kandlikar model) is modified to account for the thermal properties of the substrate. The predicted CHF values are within 15% of the experimental results.

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