• Dewitt, G. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) ;
  • Mckrell, T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) ;
  • Buongiorno, J. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) ;
  • Hu, L.W. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) ;
  • Park, R.J. (Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI))
  • Received : 2012.10.22
  • Accepted : 2013.02.05
  • Published : 2013.06.25


The Critical Heat Flux (CHF) of water with dispersed alumina nanoparticles was measured for the geometry and flow conditions relevant to the In-Vessel Retention (IVR) situation which can occur during core melting sequences in certain advanced Light Water Reactors (LWRs). CHF measurements were conducted in a flow boiling loop featuring a test section designed to be thermal-hydraulically similar to the vessel/insulation gap in the Westinghouse AP1000 plant. The effects of orientation angle, pressure, mass flux, fluid type, boiling time, surface material, and surface state were investigated. Results for water-based nanofluids with alumina nanoparticles (0.001% by volume) on stainless steel surface indicate an average 70% CHF enhancement with a range of 17% to 108% depending on the specific flow conditions expected for IVR. Experiments also indicate that only about thirty minutes of boiling time (which drives nanoparticle deposition) are needed to obtain substantial CHF enhancement with nanofluids.


  1. S. J. Kim, I. C. Bang, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "Surface Wettability Change during Pool Boiling of Nanofluids and its effect on Critical Heat Flux", Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, Vol. 50, 4105-4116, 2007.
  2. N. Todreas, M. Kazimi, Nuclear Systems I: Thermal Hydraulic Fundamentals, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 13 978-1-56032-051-7, 1990.
  3. S. J. Kim, I. C. Bang, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "Effects of nanoparticle deposition on surface wettability influencing boiling heat transfer in nanofluids", Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 89, 153107, Issue 15, 2006.
  4. B. Forrest, E. Forrest, L.W. Hu, T. McKrell, J. Buongiorno, "Measurement of Contact Angles on Smooth and Practical Boiling Surfaces", MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 10, 2009.
  5. S. Kandlikar, "A Theoretical Model to Predict Pool Boiling CHF Incorporating Effects of Contact Angle and Orientation", Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 123, 1071-1079, December 2001.
  6. J. Lienhard, V. Dhir, "Hydrodynamic Prediction of Peak Pool-boiling Heat Fluxes from Finite Bodies", Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 95, 152-158, 1973.
  7. T. Bui, V. Dhir, "Transition Boiling Heat Transfer on Vertical Surface", Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 107, Issue 4, 756-763, November 1985.
  8. H. Zhang, I. Mudawar, M. Hasen, "Experimental and theoretical study of orientation effects on flow boiling CHF", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 45, Pages 4463-4477, (2002).
  9. I. Mudawar, D. Maddox, "Critical Heat Flux in subcooled flow boiling of fluorocarbon liquid on a simulated electronic chip in a vertical rectangular channel", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 32, No. 2, pages 379-394, 1989.
  10. M. Caira, G. Caruso, A. Naviglio, "A Correlation to Predict CHF in Subcooled Flow Boiling", International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 22, No. 1, pages 35-45, 1995.
  11. M. Caira, G. Caruso, A. Naviglio, S. Rouge, "CHF Prediction for Sloping Surfaces", NUTHOS-5, Beijing, China, April 14-18, 1997.
  12. "Westinghouse AP1000 Design Control Document", Revision 16 (Public Version), U.S. NRC, May 26, 2007.
  13. C. Gerardi, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, T. McKrell, "Infrared thermometry study of nanofluid pool boiling phenomena", Nanoscale Research Letters, 6:232, 2011.
  14. S. J. Kim, T. McKrell, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "Subcooled Flow Boiling Heat Transfer of Dilute Alumina, Zinc Oxide, and Diamond Nanofluids at Atmospheric Pressure", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 240, 1186-1194, 2010.
  15. H. Kim, T. McKrell, G. DeWitt, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "On the Quenching of Steel and Zircaloy Spheres in Water-Based Nanofluids with Alumina, Silica and Diamond Nanoparticles", Int J. Multiphase Flow, 35, 427-438, 2009.
  16. H. Kim, T. McKrell, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "Nanoparticle Deposition Effects on the Minimum Heat Flux Point and Quench Front Speed during Quenching of Rodlets and Spheres in Water-Based Alumina Nanofluids", Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 53, 1542-1553, 2010.
  17. S. J. Kim, T. McKrell, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "Experimental Study of Flow Critical Heat Flux in Alumina-Water, Zinc-oxide-Water and Diamond-Water Nanofluids", ASME J. Heat Transfer, Vol. 131, 043204, 2009.
  18. S. J. Kim, T. McKrell, J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, "Alumina Nanoparticles Enhance the Flow Critical Heat Flux of Water at Low Pressure", ASME J. Heat Transfer, Vol. 130, 044501, 2008.
  19. J. Buongiorno, L.W. Hu, "Nanofluid Heat Transfer Enhancement for Nuclear Reactor Applications", J. Energy Power Engineering, Volume 4, No.6 (Serial No.31), June 2010.
  20. G. Hart, Multidimensional Analysis: Algebras and Systems for Science and Engineering, Springer-Verlag, ISBN: 0-387-94417-6, 1995.
  21. T. Chu, J. Bentz, R. Simpson, "Observations of the Boiling Process from a Downward-Facing Torispherical Surface: Confirmatory Testing of the Heavy Water New Production Reactor Flooded Cavity Design", Sandia National Laboratory, Presentation at the 30th National Heat Transfer Conference, Portland, Oregon, August 5-9, 1995.
  22. J. Yang, M.B. Dizon, F.B. Cheung, J.L. Rempe, K.Y. Suh, S.B. Kim, "CHF enhancement by vessel coating for external reactor vessel cooling", Nuclear Engineering and Design, Vol. 236 (2006), 1089-1098.
  23. H. Merte Jr., R.B. Keller, B.J. Kirby, 1997, "Effects of Heater Surface Orientation on the Critical Heat Flux-I. An Experimental Evaluation of Models for Subcooled Pool Boiling", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 40, No. 17, pp. 4007-4019.
  24. H. Ohtake, Y. Koizumi, 2004, "Study on Ex-Vessel Cooling of Reactor Pressure Vessel (Model Analysis of Critical Heat Flux on Inclined Plate and Hemisphere Facing Downward)", JSME International Journal, Series B, Vol. 47, No. 2.
  25. B. Yucel, S. Kakac, "Forced Flow Boiling and Burnout in Rectangular Channels", papers presented at the International Heat Transfer Conference, Vol. 1, (1978), 387-392.
  26. J. Galloway, I. Mudawar, "CHF mechanism in flow boiling from a short heated wall-I. Examination of near-wall conditions with the aid of photomicrography and high-speed video imaging", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 36, No. 10, pp. 2511-2526, (1993).
  27. M. Kureta, H. Akimoto, "Critical heat flux correlation for subcooled boiling flow in narrow channels", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 45, 4107-4115, (2002).
  28. J. Zhao, Y. Lu, J. Li, "CHF on Cylinders-Revisit of Influences of Subcooling and Cylinder Diameter", ECI International Conference of Boiling Heat Transfer, Brazil, May 3-7, 2009.
  29. R. Boyd, "Local Heat Transfer and CHF for Subcooled Flow Boiling", Department of Mechanical Engineering, Prairie View A&M, Report to DOE, DE-FG03-92ER54189, 1998.
  30. Y.H. Kim, S.J. Kim, J.J. Kim, S.W. Noh, K.Y. Suh, J.L. Rempe, F.B. Cheung, S.B. Kim, "Visualization of boiling phenomena in inclined rectangular gap", International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Vol. 31, (2005), 618-642.
  31. Y. H. Kim, S. J. Kim, K. Y. Suh, J. L. Rempe, F. B. Cheung, S. B. Kim, "Internal Vessel Cooling Feasibility Attributed by Critical Heat Flux in Inclined Rectangular Gap", Nuclear Technology, Vol. 154, April 2006, pages 13-40.
  32. H. Zhang, I. Mudawar, M. Hasan, "Experimental assessment of the effects of body force, surface tension force, and inertia on flow boiling CHF", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 45, (2002), 4079-4095.
  33. M. Kashinath, "Parameters Affecting Critical Heat Flux of Nanofluids: Heater Size, Pressure, Orientation and Anti- Freeze Addition", M.S. Thesis, University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Mechanical Engineering, August 2006.
  34. J. Rempe, K. Suh, F. Cheung, S. Kim, "In-Vessel Retention of Molten Corium: Lesson Learned and Outstanding Issues", Nuclear Technology, Vol. 161, pages 210-267, March 2008.
  35. "Westinghouse AP1000 Design Control Document", Revision 16 (Public Version), U.S. NRC, May 26, 2007.
  36. T. Theofanous, C. Lui, S. Additon, S. Angelini, O. Kymalainen, T. Salmassi, "In-vessel Coolability and Retention of a Core Melt". Nuclear Engineering and Design, 169, 1-48, 1997.
  37. J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, S. J. Kim, R. Hannink, B. Truong, E. Forrest, "Nanofluids for enhanced Economics and Safety of Nuclear Reactors: an Evaluation of the Potential Features, Issues and Research Gaps", Nuclear Technology, Vol. 162,80-91, 2008.
  38. G. L. DeWitt, "Investigation of Downward Facing Critical Heat Flux with Water-Based Nanofluids for In-Vessel Retention Applications", Ph.D. Thesis, Nuclear Science and Engineering Department, MIT, September 2011.
  39. J. Buongiorno, L. W. Hu, G. Apostolakis, R. Hannink, T. Lucas, A. Chupin, "A Feasibility Assessment of the Use of Nanofluids to Enhance the In-Vessel Retention Capability in Light-Water Reactors", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 239, 941-948, 2009.
  40. "Engineering Contracts Signed for First CAP1400 Reactor", Nuclear Engineering International magazine, News section, November 25, 2010.
  41. T-N. Dinh, J. Tu, T. Salmassi, T. Theofanous, "Limits of Coolability in the AP1000 Related ULPU-2400 Configuration V Facility", University of California, Santa Barbara, CRSS-03/06, June 30, 2003.
  42. S. Rouge, D. Geffraye, "Reactor Vessel External Cooling for Corium Retention SULTAN Experimental Program and Modeling with CATHARE Code", Workshop on invessel core debris retention and coolability, Garching, Germany, 3-6 March, 1998.
  43. F. Asfia, V. Dhir, "An experimental study of natural convection in a volumetrically heated spherical pool bounded on top with a rigid wall", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 163, 333-348, 1996.

Cited by

  1. An Experimental Investigation of Nucleate Pool Boiling Heat Transfer of Nanofluids From a Hemispherical Surface vol.38, pp.10, 2017,
  2. Thermal Hydraulic Modeling and Analysis of Fusion Reactors Plasma Facing Components Using Alumina Nanofluids vol.9, pp.3, 2017,
  3. Fundamental Issues, Technology Development, and Challenges of Boiling Heat Transfer, Critical Heat Flux, and Two-Phase Flow Phenomena with Nanofluids pp.1521-0537, 2018,