Comparison of steady and transient flow boiling critical heat flux for FeCrAl accident tolerant fuel cladding alloy, Zircaloy, and Inconel

Soon K. Lee, Maolong Liu, Nicholas R. Brown, Kurt A. Terrani, Edward D. Blandford, Heng Ban, Colby B. Jensen, Youho Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Scopus citations


    Steady and transient (with a heating rate of 685 °C/s) internal-flow CHF (Critical Heat Flux) experiments were conducted under atmospheric pressure at a fixed inlet temperature (40 °C or 60 °C) and mass flow (300 kg/m2 s) on Fe-13Cr-6Al alloy, Inconel 600 and Zircaloy-4 tube samples. Multiple experiments were repeated on the same specimen to investigate the effect of surface characteristic changes (i.e., roughness, wettability, and oxide scale morphology) on the occurrence of CHF. Despite notable changes of wettability, roughness, and oxide layer characteristics on samples that had already been subjected to CHF, measured flow CHF remained unchanged throughout repeated experiments for tested materials. This demonstrates that the surface effects on flow CHF are limited in the test conditions. In the steady-state flow boiling condition, Fe-13Cr-6Al alloy demonstrated a 22% and 14% increase in CHF compared to Zircaloy-4 and Inconel 600, respectively. Compared to the 2006 Groeneveld CHF lookup table, Fe-13Cr-6Al alloy gives a 13% increase in the tested flow boiling condition. Material properties are considered primarily responsible for the observed CHF differences among the tested materials. The surface thermal economy parameter ([Formula presented]) is proposed as an explanation for the observed CHF differences; this parameter is related to material's ability to avoid an irreversible dry spot formation. The apparent disagreement of Zircaloy-4 CHF with both the look up table predictions and Inconel 600 shows the limitation of departure of nucleate boiling (DNB) evaluations that do not consider cladding materials. The transient Fe-13Cr-6Al CHF is 39% and 23% higher than the lookup table prediction and the steady-state condition experimental result, respectively.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)643-654
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
    StatePublished - Apr 2019

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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