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Marangoni convection in molten salts - physical modelling toward lower Prandtl numbers
Cramer, A.; Landgraf, S.; Beyer, E.; Gerbeth, G.;
Marangoni convection is involved in many technological processes. The substances of industrial interest are often governed by diffusive heat transport and their physical modelling is limited with respect to the Prandtl number Pr. The present paper addresses this deficiency. Studies were made on molten salts having Pr values in an intermediate range well below that of the typically employed organics. Since some of the selected species have a relatively high melting point, a high-temperature facility which allows studying thermocapillary convection at temperatures in excess of 1000°C was built. The results presented here were obtained in a cylindrical geometry, although the equipment that was built is not restricted to this configuration because of its modular construction. Modelled after some applications, the fluid was heated centrically on top. The bulk was embedded in a large thermostatically controlled reservoir so as to establish the lower ambient reference temperature. A characteristic size of the experimental cell was chosen such that, on the one hand, the dynamic Bond number Bo did not become too high; on the other hand, the liquid had to have a certain depth to allow particle image velocimetry. The complicated balance between body forces and thermocapillary forces in the case of intermediate Bo was found to result in a distinct local separation into a bulk motion governed by natural convection with a recirculating Marangoni flow on top. In contrast to low viscosity organics, the vapour pressure of which increases considerably with decreasing Pr, high values of the Marangoni number can be reached. Comparisons of the topology of Marangoni vortices between molten salts with 2.3 <= Pr <= 6.4 and a silicone oil with Pr typically one order of magnitude higher suggest that the regime of non-negligible heat diffusion is entered.
Keywords: Marangoni convection, surface tension driven flow, molten salts, Prandtl number, physical modelling

Publ.-Id: 14363 - Permalink