A Caltech Library Service

Particle Transport by Rapid Vaporization of Superheated Liquid


Sugioka, Ichiro (1991) Particle Transport by Rapid Vaporization of Superheated Liquid. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ZS1H-VE29.


Superheated liquid vaporizing explosively in a particle bed inside a cylindrical test cell has been studied using a rapid depressurization apparatus. The experiments provide insights into the explosive vaporization phenomenon and the multiphase flow which is generated by the rapid production of vapor.

Inside the sealed test cell, spherical glass particles are immersed in a volatile liquid, Refrigerant 12 or 114 at 300K. When the diaphragm at the upper end of the test cell is ruptured, the liquid pressure is reduced to a predetermined pressure within milliseconds. Since the liquid temperature is higher than the boiling temperature at reduced pressure, the liquid achieves a superheated state and nucleate boiling begins among the particles. The particle-liquid-vapor flow produced by the rapid release of vapor has been found to differ depending on whether the pressure is reduced below a critical level, which is 55% of the vapor pressure in the experiments conducted. When the final pressure is greater than critical, vapor pockets continue to grow throughout the particle bed and displace a liquid-particles mixture out from the test cell. When the final pressure is below critical, the particles are dispersed by a wave-like phenomenon (disruption front) where explosive vaporization appears to be localized in a narrow region. A disruption front in R12 travels at about 380 cm/s, and at about 200 cm/s in R114.

Experiments have been performed at various conditions to study the vaporization and transport process. High-speed cinematography and fast response pressure gauges have provided data on the particle acceleration process. The inertial effect on particle acceleration has been studied by conducting similar experiments in a centrifuge. Using this data, the transport process associated with the disruption front has been examined in detail. An empirical relationship between the particle weight and viscous drag is presented for this particular case. This study concludes with discussions based on analytical models of the disruption front to approximate flows properties which are intractable experimentally. It is suggested that a disruption front is an expansion process which maximizes vaporization and entropy.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautical engineering, Centrifuge experiments, high-speed multi-phase flow
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sturtevant, Bradford
Thesis Committee:
  • Hornung, Hans G. (co-chair)
  • Zukoski, Edward E. (co-chair)
  • Sieh, Kerry E.
  • Sturtevant, Bradford
Defense Date:4 January 1991
Non-Caltech Author Email:isugioka (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07172007-082412
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2908
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Aug 2007
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:32

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page