Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boiling water without bubbles: Researchers engineer special surface, allowing water to boil without producing bubbles

Date:
September 13, 2012
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Every cook knows that boiling water bubbles, right? New research turns that notion on its head. Scientists have shown how a specially engineered coated surface can create a stable vapor cushion between the surface and a hot liquid and eliminate the bubbles that are created during boiling.

Screenshot from a movie showing the cooling of 20 mm hydrophilic (left) and superhydrophobic (right) steel spheres in 100 C water. The spheres' initial temperature is about 380 C. The bubbling phase of boiling is completely eliminated for steel spheres with superhydrophobic coating.
Credit: Image courtesy of Northwestern University

Every cook knows that boiling water bubbles, right? New research from Northwestern University turns that notion on its head.

Related Articles


"We manipulated what has been known for a long, long time by using the right kind of texture and chemistry to prevent bubbling during boiling," said Neelesh A. Patankar, professor of mechanical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and co-author of the study.

This discovery could help reduce damage to surfaces, prevent bubbling explosions and may someday be used to enhance heat transfer equipment, reduce drag on ships and lead to anti-frost technologies.

Published Sept. 13 in the journal Nature, the research outlines how a specially engineered coated surface can create a stable vapor cushion between the surface and a hot liquid and eliminate the bubbles that are created during boiling.

This phenomenon is based on the Leidenfrost effect. In 1756 the German scientist Johann Leidenfrost observed that water drops skittered on a sufficiently hot skillet, bouncing across the surface of the skillet on a vapor cushion or film of steam. The vapor film collapses as the surface falls below the Leidenfrost temperature. When the water droplet hits the surface of the skillet, at 100 degrees Celsius, boiling temperature, it bubbles.

To stabilize a Leidenfrost vapor film and prevent bubbling during boiling, Patankar collaborated with Ivan U. Vakarelski of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. Vakarelski led the experiments and Patankar provided the theory. The collaboration also included Derek Chan, professor of mathematics and statistics from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

In their experiments, the stabilization of the Leidenfrost vapor film was achieved by making the surface of tiny steel spheres very water-repellant. The spheres were sprayed with a commercially available hydrophobic coating -- essentially self-assembled nanoparticles -- combined with other water-hating chemicals to achieve the right amount of roughness and water repellency. At the correct length scale this coating created a surface texture full of tiny peaks and valleys.

When the steel spheres were heated to 400 degrees Celsius and dropped into room temperature water, water vapors formed in the valleys of the textured surface, creating a stable Leidenfrost vapor film that did not collapse once the spheres cooled to the temperature of boiling water. In the experiments, researchers completely avoided the bubbly phase of boiling.

To contrast, the team also coated tiny steel spheres with a water-loving coating, heated the objects to 700 degrees Celsius, dropped them into room temperature water and observed that the Leidenfrost vapor collapsed with a vigorous release of bubbles.

"This is a dramatic result and there are many applications in which a vapor-loving, water-hating surface is beneficial," Patankar said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Erin White. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ivan U. Vakarelski, Neelesh A. Patankar, Jeremy O. Marston, Derek Y. C. Chan, Sigurdur T. Thoroddsen. Stabilization of Leidenfrost vapour layer by textured superhydrophobic surfaces. Nature, 2012; 489 (7415): 274 DOI: 10.1038/nature11418

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Boiling water without bubbles: Researchers engineer special surface, allowing water to boil without producing bubbles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913132917.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2012, September 13). Boiling water without bubbles: Researchers engineer special surface, allowing water to boil without producing bubbles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913132917.htm
Northwestern University. "Boiling water without bubbles: Researchers engineer special surface, allowing water to boil without producing bubbles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913132917.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins