The two hydrodynamic transitions which take place in nucleate boiling off a horizontal surface are described. The first, which is governed by continuity considerations, results in a change in the vapor removal process from an intermittent to a continuous one. The second, which is a result of a Taylor-Helmholtz instability, determines the maximum (“burnout”) heat flux. Equations are presented which predict with good accuracy the two transition heat fluxes.

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