Skip to main content

Evaporation waves in superheated dodecane

  • J. R. SIMÕES-MOREIRA (a1) and J. E. SHEPHERD (a2)

We have observed propagating adiabatic evaporation waves in superheated liquid dodecane, C12H26. Experiments were performed with a rapid decompression apparatus at initial temperatures of 180–300°C. Saturated dodecane in a tube was suddenly depressurized by rupturing a diaphragm. Motion pictures and still photographic images, and pressure and temperature data were obtained during the evaporation event that followed depressurization. Usually, a front or wave of evaporation started at the liquid free surface and propagated into the undisturbed regions of the metastable liquid. The evaporation wave front moved with a steady mean velocity but the front itself was unstable and fluctuating in character. At low superheats, no waves were observed until a threshold superheat was exceeded. At moderate superheats, subsonic downstream states were observed. At higher superheats, the downstream flow was choked, corresponding to a Chapman–Jouguet condition. At the most extreme superheat tested, a vapour content of over 90% was estimated from the measured data, indicating a nearly complete evaporation wave. Our results are interpreted by modelling the evaporation wave as a discontinuity, or jump, between a superheated liquid state and a two-phase liquid–vapour downstream state. Reasonable agreement is found between the model and observations; however, there is a fundamental indeterminacy that prevents the prediction of the observed wave speeds.

Corresponding author
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *