physicist Derek Chan from Swinburne University of Technology and colleagues
from Saudia Arabia and the U.S. have discovered a specially-engineered surface
that allows liquids to boil without bubbling.
paper entitled “Stabilization of Leidenfrost vapour layer by textured superhydrophobic
surfaces” was featured in Nature.
research looked at suppressing the bubbling phase during boiling point to
prevent damage occurring to common surfaces.
says that to suppress bubbling while boiling, the team of researchers used a
highly water-repellent surface to control the boiling state of the liquid,
causing the boiling to take place in a continuous vapor film within the hot
non-bubbling boiling phase is known as the Leidenfrost regime, named after the
scientist who studied water drops skittering on a hot skillet owing to their
levitation on a cushion of vapor.
experiments, led by Ivan Vakarelski at the King Abdul University of Science and
Technology in Saudia Arabia, proved that this observation doesn’t apply to
smooth liquid surfaces, as cooling the vapor film collapses and the system
switches explosively to nucleate boiling.
says the groundbreaking research is likely to have a significant impact on the
industrial sector, reducing the risk of vapor explosions.
of the bubbling phase could help to reduce damage to surfaces, or even
explosions,” Chan says.
properties will be useful for example in designing kettles that boil slower,
generating less noise and splashing.”