Analysis of melting in the presence of natural convection in the melt region

E. M. Sparrow, S. V. Patankar, S. Ramadhyani

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An analysis of multidimensional melting is performed which takes account of natural convection induced by temperature differences in the liquid melt. Consideration is given to the melt region created by a heated vertical tube embedded in a solid which is at its fusion temperature. Solutions were obtained by an implicit finite-difference scheme tailored to take account of the movement of the liquid-solid interface as melting progresses. The results differed decisively from those corresponding to a conventional pure-conduction model of the melting problem. The calculated heat transfer rate at the tube wall decreased at early times and attained a minimum, then increased and achieved a maximum, and subsequently decreased. This is in contrast to the pure conduction solution whereby the heat transfer rate decreases monotonically with time. The thickness of the melt region was found to vary along the length of the tube, with the greatest thickness near the top. This contrasts with the uniform thickness predicted by the conduction solution. These findings indicate that natural convection effects, although unaccounted for in most phase change analyses, are of importance and have to be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1977


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