Investigations of heat transfer to supercritical pressure fluids have been going on for some time, and correlations have been developed for both free and forced-convection conditions. In these investigations, unpredictable heat transfer performance has sometimes been observed when the pseudocritical temperature of the fluid is between the temperature of the bulk fluid and that of the heated surface. The unusual performance has been attributed to many causes, but one for which more evidence is being collected is that of a pseudofilm-boiling process similar to film boiling which occurs at subcritical pressures. This paper, which is an extension of work reported earlier on forced-convection heat transfer to supercritical pressure water, presents experimental evidence which suggests that a pseudofilm-boiling phenomenon can occur in smooth-bore tubes. During the period from 1963–1966, tubes with ID’s from 0.37 to 0.96 in. were tested at pressures from 3300–6000 psia and at heat fluxes and mass velocities in the range of interest in steam-generator design. The effects of heat flux, mass velocity, tube diameter, pressure, and bulk fluid temperature on both the occurrence and characteristics of pseudofilm boiling are discussed. Results of a second series of tests conducted in 1967, which show that ribbed tubes suppress pseudofilm boiling at supercritical pressure much like they do film boiling at subcritical pressures, are also discussed.

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