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Title: Influence of surface contamination on the wettability of heat transfer surfaces

In this study, the wettability of heat transfer surfaces plays an important role in liquid–vapor phase change phenomena, including boiling incipience, the critical heat flux, the Leidenfrost transition, and condensation. The influence of adsorbed surface contamination at the nanoscale, though seldom considered, can have a profound impact on wetting behavior. This study quantitatively investigates the impact of contaminant layer thickness on wettability. Various cleaning treatments are explored on zirconium and 6061 aluminum to determine the effect on contaminant and oxide layer thickness. Angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy can be used to measure the thickness of oxide and contaminant layers, which is then correlated to wettability by measuring the equilibrium contact angle. Results indicate that even after solvent cleaning, the contact angle of water on practical heat transfer surfaces is dominated by a hydrocarbon contaminant overlayer around five nanometers thick.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9310; 547264
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 91; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9310
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE wettability; surface contamination; boiling heat transfer; critical heat flux; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy