The design of plasma facing components is crucial for plasma performance in next fusion reactors. These elements will be submitted to very high heat flux. They will be actively water-cooled by swirl tubes in the subcooled boiling regime. High heat flux experiments were conducted in order to analyse the heat transfer and to evaluate the critical heat flux. Water-cooled mock-ups were one-side heated by an electron beam gun for different thermal-hydraulic conditions. The critical heat flux was detected by an original method based on the isotherm modification on the heated surface. The wall heat transfer law including forced convection and subcooled boiling regimes was established. Numerical calculations of the material heat transfer conduction allowed the non-homogeneous distribution of the wall temperature and of the wall heat flux to be evaluated. The critical heat flux value was defined as the wall maximum heat flux. A critical heat flux model based on the liquid sublayer dryout under a vapor blanket was established. A good agreement with test results was found. (author). 198 refs., 126 figs., 21 tabs.