Effect of surface property of molten metal pools on triggering of vapor explosions in water droplet impingement

M. Furuya*, T. Arai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Small-scale experiments have been conducted to investigate the triggering mechanism of vapor explosions. In order to attain good repeatability and visibility, a smooth round water droplet was impinged onto a molten alloy surface. This configuration suppresses premixing events prior to triggering. Six molten metal and alloys were used as the pool liquid. The lower limit of the contact temperature in the vapor explosion region closely agrees with the spontaneous bubble nucleation temperature of water. The upper limit of the initial molten alloy temperature decreases when an oxide layer forms on the surface causing an increase of the emissivity of thermal radiation that has a stabilizing effect on the vapor film. When an oxide layer was formed on the surface, a water droplet was occasionally entrapped into a molten alloy dome, since the oxide layer prevents the droplet from evaporating coherently. The vapor explosion region obtained for the mirror surface is a conservative estimate, since that for the oxide surface fell into the internal region of the vapor explosion for the mirror surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4439-4446
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Fragmentation
  • Liquid-liquid direct contact
  • Spontaneous bubble nucleation
  • Triggering
  • Vapor explosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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