Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effect of grooves on nucleate boiling heat transfer from downward facing hemispherical surface

  • 385 Accesses


The external reactor vessel cooling (ERVC) is the key method to ensuring the success of in-vessel retention (IVR), which is one strategy of the Generation III+ advanced light water nuclear reactor to address severe accidents. The heat removal ability of ERVC is limited by the critical heat flux (CHF) on the outer surface of the lower head. In this paper, a heating system with the liquid metal as the intermediate heat medium in the scaled vessel was used to investigate the boiling heat transfer. A three-dimensional (3D) hemispherical grooved surface on scaled vessel was proposed and its steady boiling performance was investigated in saturated water. Consequently, the liquid metal temperature exceeded 430 °C when the heating power was 185 kW and the boiling crisis occurred, and the CHF increased from 967.4 to 2030.2 kW/m2 when the orientation increased from 5° to 85°. Compared with the 3D plain surface, the CHF enhancement was higher than 102%. The CHF enhancement could attribute to the increase of heat transfer area and the improvement of the wettability. If the grooves on the reactor vessel could be manufactured by 3D printing in the future, the grooved surface will be a promising structure for ERVC.


  1. Angayarkanni, S. A., Philip, J. 2015. Review on thermal properties of nanofluids: Recent developments. Adv Colloid Interfac, 225: 146–176.

  2. Bai, L. Z., Zhang, L. P., Guo, J. H., Lin, G. P., Bu, X. Q., Wen, D. S. 2016. Evaporation/boiling heat transfer characteristics in an artery porous structure. Appl Therm Eng, 104: 587–595.

  3. Chu, K. H., Soo Joung, Y., Enright, R., Buie, C. R., Wang, E. N. 2013. Hierarchically structured surfaces for boiling critical heat flux enhancement. Appl Phys Lett, 102: 151602.

  4. Fogaça, W., Mori, S., Imanishi, K., Okuyama, K., Piqueira, J. R. C. 2018. Effect of honeycomb porous plate on critical heat flux in saturated pool boiling of artificial seawater. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 125: 994–1002.

  5. Hou, F. X., Chang, H. J., Zhao, Y. F., Zhang, M., Gao, T. F., Chen, P. P. 2017. Experimental study of critical heat flux enhancement with hypervapotron structure under natural circulation conditions. Nucl Eng Des, 316: 209–217.

  6. Jun, S., Kim, J., You, S. M., Kim, H. Y. 2016. Effect of heater orientation on pool boiling heat transfer from sintered copper microporous coating in saturated water. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 103: 277–284.

  7. Mori, S., Yokomatsu, F., Utaka, Y. 2018. Enhancement of critical heat flux using spherical porous bodies in saturated pool boiling of nanofluid. Appl Therm Eng, 144: 219–230.

  8. Mt Aznam, S., Mori, S., Sakakibara, F., Okuyama, K. 2016. Effects of heater orientation on critical heat flux for nanoparticle-deposited surface with honeycomb porous plate attachment in saturated pool boiling of water. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 102: 1345–1355.

  9. Noh, S. W., Suh, K. Y. 2013. Critical heat flux for APR1400 lower head vessel during a severe accident. Nucl Eng Des, 258: 116–129.

  10. Pham, Q. T., Kim, T. I., Lee, S. S., Chang, S. H. 2012. Enhancement of critical heat flux using nano-fluids for Invessel Retention-External Vessel Cooling. Appl Therm Eng, 35: 157–165.

  11. Sohag, F. A., Beck, F. R., Mohanta, L., Cheung, F. B., Segall, A. E., Eden, T. J., Potter, J. K. 2017. Effects of subcooling on downward facing boiling heat transfer with micro-porous coating formed by Cold Spray technique. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 106: 767–780.

  12. Tetreault-Friend, M., Azizian, R., Bucci, M., McKrell, T., Buongiorno, J., Rubner, M., Cohen, R. 2016. Critical heat flux maxima resulting from the controlled morphology of nanoporous hydrophilic surface layers. Appl Phys Lett, 108: 243102.

  13. Wang, Y. Q., Luo, J. L., Heng, Y., Mo, D. C., Lyu, S. S. 2018. Wettability modification to further enhance the pool boiling performance of the micro nano bi-porous copper surface structure. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 119: 333–342.

  14. Yang, J., Cheung, F. B., Rempe, J. L., Suh, K. Y., Kim, S. B. 2005. Correlations of nucleate boiling heat transfer and critical heat flux for external reactor vessel cooling. In: Proceedings of the 2005 ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, HT 2005-72334.

  15. Yang, J., Dizon, M. B., Cheung, F. B., Rempe, J. L., Suh, K. Y., Kim, S. B. 2006. CHF enhancement by vessel coating for external reactor vessel cooling. Nucl Eng Des, 236: 1089–1098.

  16. Zhong, D. W., Meng, J. A., Li, Z. X. 2016. Saturated pool boiling from downward facing structured surfaces with grooves. CIESC J, 67: 3559–3565.

  17. Zhong, D. W., Meng, J., Li, Z. X., Guo, Z. Y. 2015. Critical heat flux for downward-facing saturated pool boiling on pin fin surfaces. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 87: 201–211.

  18. Zhong, D. W., Sun, J., Meng, J. A., Li, Z. X. 2018a. Effects of orientation and structure geometry on boiling heat transfer for downward facing IGTAC surfaces. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 123: 468–472.

  19. Zhong, D. W., Sun, J., Meng, J. A., Li, Z. X. 2018b. Experimental study of downward facing boiling on a structured hemispherical surface. Appl Therm Eng, 134: 594–602.

Download references


The financial support extended by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51706068), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 3192035), Beijing Key Research and Development Program (No. Z181100005118013), the China Advanced Light Water Reactors Major Projects (No. 2011ZX06004-008), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2017MS039) is gratefully acknowledgement.

Author information

Correspondence to Ji’an Meng.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zhong, D., Sun, J., Meng, J. et al. Effect of grooves on nucleate boiling heat transfer from downward facing hemispherical surface. Exp. Comput. Multiph. Flow 2, 52–58 (2020).

Download citation


  • downward facing boiling
  • critical heat flux (CHF)
  • liquid metal
  • grooved surface