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DOI 10.1007/s00231-006-0189-4

ORIGINAL

reactor loaded with porous media

Hongmin Li Æ Changhu Xing Æ Minel J. Braun

Received: 4 April 2006 / Accepted: 14 August 2006 / Published online: 19 October 2006

Springer-Verlag 2006

numerical investigation on the natural convection flow kw conductivity of the reactor glass wall

in a cylindrical model hydrothermal reactor. The flow P pressure

is visualized non-intrusively and simulated with a Pr Prandtl number

conjugate computational model. Results show that the Q total heat flow rate on lower half wall

flow structure consists of wall layers and core flows. In RaDi Rayleigh number based on Di

the lower half, the flows are steady due to the porous S source term in the momentum equation of the

media. The three-dimensional unsteady upper core porous media model

flow is driven by the streams originated from the wall T temperature

layer collision. The thermal condition in the upper half T0 reference temperature

core region is mainly determined by the total heat flow Tinf air temperature in the surrounding

rate specified on the lower sidewall; while the varia- environment, 24.3C

tions of porous media parameters, in the normal range Tcu time averaged temperature at the center of

for hydrothermal crystal growth process, have minor the upper half

effects. t time

Tu temperature at the center of the upper half

T0u temperature at the center of the upper half

List of symbols when Q = Q0

C1, C2 coefficients in the porous media model ~

U velocity vector

Cp heat capacity wu z-velocity at the center of the upper half

Db diameter of the balls in the porous region w0u z-velocity at the center of the upper half when

Di inner diameter of the reactor, 50 mm Q = Q0

!

F buoyancy force x, y, z coordinates

~

g gravity vector xp coordinates in pixel in the corrected images

gx gravity component in x-direction x¢p coordinates in pixel in the raw images

gz gravity component in z-direction

H height of the reactor, 305 mm

keff effective conductivity in the porous region

kf conductivity of the fluid Greeks

b thermal expansion coefficient of the fluid

q fluid density

h angle between gravity and z-axis of the reactor

H. Li (&) C. Xing M. J. Braun / porosity in the porous region

Department of Mechanical Engineering,

The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA l molecular viscosity

e-mail: HL3@uakron.edu m m = l/q

123

1202 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

experiments under such conditions, most of the

investigations were numerical. To date, experimental

Flows in lower half heated upper half cooled enclo-

data or even qualitative flow structure are rarely

sures became the focus of various research efforts due

documented in the literature. The best description of

to their applications on the design and the mixing/flow

the flow structure in the literature is the one specu-

control in chemical reaction vessels, such as hydro-

lated by Klipov and Shmakov [5] according to the

thermal autoclaves and super critical water reactors.

industry growth experience and the geometries/shapes

Hydrothermal growth is the industry method of pref-

of the grown crystals.

erence to obtain high quality crystals [1]. Detailed

descriptions on the crystal growth process have been

given by Kuznetsov and Lobachev [2, 3] and Byrappa

2 Scope of work

[4]. The physical–chemical reactions involved in the

dissolving-growth process require two temperature

In this paper, we shall experimentally visualize the

zones, a high temperature zone to dissolve the raw

unsteady laminar flow structure in a cylindrical lower

materials (that have positive temperature solubility

half heated upper half cooled model reactor. A

coefficient) and a zone with a lower temperature for

numerical model will be first validated and then used

the growth of the seed crystals. In a hydrothermal

for parametric studies on the determining factor of the

growth vessel, the high temperature zone is always the

thermal environment in the upper half.

lower half while the upper half of the vessel is cooled.

With such a heating/cooling configuration, an overall

vertical temperature gradient is established in the fluid

and drives a natural convection flow. Such a natural 3 Experimental system

convection flow is critical for the growth quality and

uniformity. First, the fluid flow transports the dissolved 3.1 The visualization system

crystal material form the raw material zone to the

growth region [2]. Secondly, the actual local tempera- The experimental system, shown in Fig. 1, consists of

ture distribution in the growth region, which deter- the test section (the model reactor), the lighting

mines the growth rate and quality, is affected assembly, the stepless power supply, the camera, and

significantly by the flow structure [5]. the image processing computer. With a group of

Super critical water reactors are popularly used to cylindrical/spherical lenses, the cylindrical light from

oxidize toxic/nontoxic chemical byproducts. The reac- the light source is turned into a light sheet with the

tion rates depend strongly on the mixing in the reac-

tors. Since such reactors are working at the super

Train of lenses

critical conditions of water, active mixing enhancement Mirror Light source

tive. The buoyancy-driven flows, however, are a prac-

tical technique to drive/enhance the heat transfer and Light

mixing. Sheet

The flows in such reaction vessels cover a wide range Image acquisition

of flow regimes from steady laminar to highly turbulent and processing

Camera

the pressure and temperature conditions. Roux [6] and A

Chen at al. [7, 8] studied flows in small scale hydro-

thermal growth vessels in the laminar regime. The

V

highly turbulent flow in industry size autoclaves has

been studied in detail by the present author [9–12].

0 - 110 v

Comparatively the flow characteristics in the unsteady

laminar regime, corresponding to the natural convec-

tion flow in medium size vessels, have not been well

studied to date. 110 v

are normally at high pressure and high temperature Fig. 1 Schematic of the experimental system

123

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1203

thickness less than 0.5 mm. The fluid in the reactor is insulation layer is wrapped to reduce the heat loss to

seeded with magnesium oxide tracing particles, 5– surroundings. The upper half of the reactor is exposed

20 lm in diameter. The light sheet, through the trans- to the surrounding air and subjects to the surrounding

parent lid at the top, illuminates a vertical plane in the natural convection cooling. Inside the reactor, the

reactor. The digital camera records the flow image in lower half (152.5 mm in height) is loaded with glass

the upper half of the reactor. The image processing balls of diameter 9.80 ± 0.01 mm. With the total vol-

computer digitally corrects the image and removes the ume of the glass balls and the volume of the lower half,

deformation caused by the fluid in the reactor and the the porosity in the lower half is calculated to be

reactor sidewall. 0.439 ± 0.001.

The model reactor is a cylindrical glass enclosure as The flow image acquired by the digital camera is de-

shown in Fig. 2. The body of the enclosure is a Pyrex formed by the lens effects of the fluid in the reactor and

glass pipe with inner diameter of 50 mm and wall the glass wall as shown in Fig. 3a. The illuminated

thickness of 5 mm. The height of the pipe is 305 mm. plane is the center vertical cross-section in the

The bottom of the pipe is sealed by a Teflon plate

compressed on by a pair of flanges. The top of the pipe a) Half of the cylinder as

is covered by a one-inch-thick plexy-glass plate. The a lens deforms the

lower part of the reactor, 127.5 mm in height, is image

warped with an electrical heater that supplies uniform Illuminated

heat flux. On the outside the heating element, thick plane Camera

Glass lid

b)

xp’

c)

xp

d) 600

500

Electrical

xp number of pixels

heater 400

300

Insulation 200

100

0

0 100 200 300 400 500 600

xp' number of pixels

Teflon plate cylindrical reactor. a Schematic of the deformation. b Deformed

image of the grid. c Grid image without deformation. d Image

Fig. 2 Schematic of the experimental model reactor correction curve

123

1204 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

cylindrical reactor. The fluid and the glass wall be- The full Navier–Stokes, continuity and energy

tween the illuminated plane and the camera, which equations in the fluid domain and the heat conduction

have much higher light diffraction coefficients, deform equation in the glass wall are solved interactively in a

the image. In order to remove the deformation, the feedback mode. In vector format, the governing

flow images need to be digitally corrected. First a grid equations are given by Eqs. 1–6.

plate is constructed. An image of the grid is taken with In the upper half fluid domain, the continuity,

the grid located at the center of the model reactor filled momentum, and energy equations are:

with the working fluid. This image, as shown in Fig. 3b,

contains the deformation caused by the lens effect. ~ ¼ 0;

rU ð1Þ

Then, the grid is removed out of the reactor and a

~

@U

second image is taken. The later image, Fig. 3c, has no

þU ~ ¼ 1 gradP þ mr2 U

~ rU ~ þ~

F; ð2Þ

deformation. By comparing the grid node locations on @t q

these two images, one obtains an image correction

curve as shown in Fig. 3d. This curve removes the @T ~ kf

þ U rT ¼ r2 T: ð3Þ

deformation caused by the lens effect as one transform @t q Cp

the raw image (in x¢-coordinate) into the corrected

Since the lower half of the reactor is loaded with

image (in x-coordinate) pixel by pixel. The same

glass balls, a porous media model is employed. The

camera focus length and the distance between the

momentum equation becomes

illuminated plane and the camera are used to take

photos of the flow field during the experiments. The ~

@U ~ rU ~ ¼ 1 gradP þ mr2 U ~ þ~

camera aperture is adjusted to adapt to the light den- þU F þ S; ð4Þ

sity from the light source. The illuminated plane is @t q

aligned with the camera focusing plane by moving the whereS ¼ C1 l U~ þ C2 1 q U

~ U:

~ C1 and C2 are

2

camera while the camera focusing length is fixed. The two coefficients defined by C1 = 150(1–/)2 /(Db 2/ 3 )

raw flow images, containing the deformation caused by and C2 = 3.5(1–/)/(Db/ 3 ). The energy equation in

the lens effects, are then digitally corrected with the the porous region uses an effective conductivity to

curve shown in Fig. 3d to remove the image deforma- account for the effects of the glass balls on the heat

tion. transfer in the fluid domain.

@T ~ keff

4 Numerical model þ U rT ¼ r2 T; ð5Þ

@t qeff Cpeff

A three-dimensional (3-D) conjugate model is used to where keff = /kf + (1–/)ks is the effective conduc-

simulate the fluid flow and heat transfer in the model tivity. q eff and Cpeff are calculated in the same manner.

reactor. Figure 4a presents a schematic of the model In the region that filled with glass balls, a homoge-

embodiment while Fig. 4b shows a vertical cross-sec- nous porous media model is employed to simulate the

tion. On the outside of the upper chamber wall, a fluid flow and heat transfer. The source term in the

natural convection boundary condition is specified. momentum equation, S, counts for the drag force ex-

The room temperature measured during the experi- erted on the fluid by the solid blocks. The parameters,

ments, 24.3C, is used as the surrounding temperature. keff, qeff, and Cpeff are used to model the heat transfer

The natural convection coefficient on the outside of the in such a region. One should be noted that this sim-

upper chamber wall is chosen to be 4.92 W/m2/C plification neglected the temperature difference be-

according to Rohsenow et al. [13], which accounts for tween the solid block and the surrounding fluid. In

the curvature effect of the vertical cylindrical surface. other words, the solid and the fluid are assumed at

Both the top and bottom walls are considered adiabatic thermal equilibrium locally. This approach is chosen

due the Teflon plate at the bottom and thick plexy- due to the following reasons. (1) Both experimental

glass plate on the top. On the lower chamber sidewall and numerical research efforts have indicated that in

from D to C in Fig. 4b, a uniform heat flux boundary, the closed vessels used for industry hydrothermal

249.7 W/m2, is applied to represent the heating pro- growth of crystals, fluid temperature fluctuates with a

vided by the electrical heating element. The part of the very small magnitude. In most of the cases, tempera-

lower half wall near the median height, from C to B in ture fluctuation magnitude is smaller than 0.1C. (2) In

Fig. 4b, has an adiabatic condition. such lower heated upper cooled vessels, the flow is

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Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1205

temperature variation in the fluid (upper fluid region

a) z b) z and the lower porous region) is less than 4C. In

industry hydrothermal reactors, the total temperature

difference is normally smaller than 10C. With such

A

small temperature variations, density variations are

negligible in the above governing equations other than

the buoyancy term.

The above equations are solved with the geometry

shown in Fig. 4, and boundary conditions described

above. Pure water is used as the working fluid in the

experiments, and the properties of water at 1 atm and

47.1C are used in the numerical model. Based on the

reactor inner diameter, Di, the Rayleigh num-

y gbDTD3i

ber,RaDi ¼ m 2 Pr ¼ 5:93 107 ; indicating an un-

B steady laminar flow.

x x

C The above partial differential equations (1–6) are

solved iteratively using a finite volume based algorithm.

The unsteady flow solution uses a time marching tech-

nique with a time step of 0.02 s. The residuals of conti-

nuity, momentum, and energy equations are lower than

10– 5, 10– 5, and 10– 6, respectively for each time step

convergence. An under-relaxation procedure follows

each of the iterations and the under-relaxation factors

for mass, momentum, and energy equations are 0.6, 0.7,

D and 0.9, respectively. All the simulation runs are carried

out on a Dell Precision work station equipped with a

Fig. 4 The three-dimensional embodiment (a) and a cross- 3.4 GHz processor and 4 Gb memories.

sectional view (b) of the numerical model To evaluate the numerical results convergence and

unsteady, but the flow velocities and temperature vary increase the confidence on the model predictions, a

with time only slowly. In other words, the time period grid convergence study is performed. The temperature

of the variation is very long. The slow variation gives at the center of the upper chamber is chosen as the

enough time for the solid blocks and the surrounding parameter for the grid convergence study since it

fluid to approach local thermal equilibrium. For the embodies the overall effects of heat transfer form the

model reactor studied in this paper, the flow in the heated lower chamber wall to the upper chamber wall

porous media region is steady. Not fluctuations of flow exposed to the surrounding environment cooling.

velocity and temperature are observed. Flows in the reactor are simulated with three sets of

In the reactor glass wall (both the lower and the unstructured grids. The grid densities and the time

upper halves), the energy equation is the heat con- averaged temperatures at the center of the upper

duction equation: chamber are presented in Table 1. By comparing the

difference between the results from the three sets of

@T kw grids, the authors think that grid independence is

r2 T ¼ 0: ð6Þ

@t qCp achieved with the Grid#3 configuration. Thus, the

numerical results presented henceforth are all based on

In all the above equations, fluid density is a constant the Grid#3 density.

except the body force term (Boussinesq assumption).

The body force is the flow driving buoyancy for-

ce,~

F ¼ g b ðT T0 Þ: The thermal expansion coeffi- 5 Results and discussion

cient, b, counts for the change of density due to

temperature variation. The reference temperature T0 is 5.1 Flow structure in the reactor

set to be the volume average of the fluid temperatures

in the reactor, 47.1C. Boussinesq assumption is em- Figure 5 shows the flow structure in the vertical center

ployed in this study due to the small total flow driving cross-section of the reactor. Figure 5a, b is the raw

123

1206 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

Table 1 The results of grid independence study At the median height, the downward wall layer

Grid #1 #2 #3

along the upper wall interacts with the hot fluid rising

up from the porous lower half. After a complicated

Grid size 316,720 624,375 1,283,840 interaction, the high temperature fluid rises into the

Tcu Tinf 42.4604 42.4790 42.4769 upper core region in a transient 3-D fashion. At the

% Difference 4.37E-04 – 4.78E-05

top, the downward wall layer starts with the turning of

the upward core flow and brings the fluid towards the

images and the digitally corrected image, respectively,

median height.

while Fig. 5c is the numerically simulated flow profile.

One should be noted that Fig. 5c shows simulated flow

5.2 Flow structure near the porous region surface

at one time moment (snap shot), while the photos in

Fig. 5a was taken with an exposure time of 4 s and the

The flow structure at the median height, above the top-

trajectories of the tracing particles show the flow pat-

surface of the porous zone, is 3-D. Figure 6a, b is the

tern. With the above flow structure, one can see that

experimentally visualized flow image and the numeri-

the flow consists of wall layers and the center core

cal simulated one, respectively. In Fig. 6b, the inter-

regions. With the natural convection cooling on the

action between the downward wall layer from the

outside of the upper wall, a downward wall layer is

upper half and the upward wall layer from the lower

formed along the upper sidewall. The thickness of the

half can be clearly recognized. The flow action in this

wall layer is small compared to the diameter of the

region includes the following two aspects. First, the 3-

reactor. Bounded/surrounded by the wall layer is the

D mixing caused by the interaction between the wall

core region. Both Fig. 5 and the observations in the

layers tends to homogenize the fluid temperature.

experiments indicate that the flow in the upper core

Secondly, due to the effects of buoyancy force, the hot

region is 3-D and highly transient. The 3-D mixing in

fluid tends to rise into the upper core and the cold fluid

the core region is strong. And the flow velocity is rel-

sink into the porous lower core. The above two aspects,

atively high. When the streams in the center core head

together, determines the temperatures in the upper

toward and impinge onto the wall layer, the wall layer

and the lower cores.

thickness is noticeably reduced. In other words, the

Two distinct upward streams can be clearly seen

wall layer flow is also transient due to the stream–wall

in the experimental flow image shown in Fig. 6a.

layer interaction.

center vertical cross-section.

a Raw experimental image.

b Digitally corrected

experimental image.

c Numerically simulated flow

structure

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Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1207

resistances for the fluid flow and heat transfer, the flow

in the lower half is significantly weaker (lower flow

velocity in Fig. 7b). However, the components of flow

structure, the upward wall layer and the core region,

can still be recognized. In the lower half, the fluid near

the sidewall is heated. The hot fluid rises along the

sidewall till the median height. In both halves, the main

temperature gradients in the fluid are mainly in the

wall layer while the core regions have a relatively

uniform temperature, as shown in Fig. 7a. This almost

uniform temperature distribution indicates that the

mixing between the hot and cold fluid at the median

height dominates the interaction between the wall

layers while separation process driven by the buoyancy

force has minor effects.

The time dependent fluid flow and temperature in

the upper half can be further shown with Fig. 8, the

numerically simulated vertical velocity (z-velocity),

Fig. 8a, and the temperature, Fig. 8b, at the center of

the upper half (x = 0, y = 0, z/H = 0.25). The vertical

component of the flow velocity varies significantly,

from 0 to 8 mm/s while the temperature varies only in a

± 0.1C range. The small magnitude of temperature

fluctuation is an clear indicator that the highly transient

3-D mixing in the upper half is not caused by the

temperature variation in the upper half core (Fig. 7a

shows uniform temperature in the upper core region

and Fig. 8b shows small temperature variation at a

Fig. 6 Flow near the top of the porous region. a Digitally fixed location), but by the wall layer interaction at the

corrected experimental images. b Numerically simulated flow median height. After the interaction between the wall-

structure

layer flows, the strong 3-D upward streams are formed

and these streams drive the 3-D transient mixing in the

Experimental observations also evidenced that the upper core.

formation and location of these upward flow streams in

the core region vary with the top surface structure of 5.4 Quantitative comparisons

the porous region. Slight change in the porous zone top

surface (movement of the glass balls at the top) results Due to the 3-D and highly transient nature of the flow

in different locations of the upward streams. In the in the upper core, no velocity data are experimentally

numerical model, the porous region is assumed to be measured in this study. However, temperature at the

homogeneous and the top of the porous region is as- center of the upper half is measured with an accurate

sumed a flat/horizontal surface. By comparing the low noise k-type thermocouple. The fluid temperature

experimental and numerical results, one can see that was read and recorded by the data acquisition system

the flat-top-surface simplification leads to slightly dif- every 0.1 s in a time period of 300 s. The average of the

ferent flow structure in the region above the porous 3,000 temperature readings is 44.8C. With the

zone. One must be noted that this simplification does numerical model, the flow was simulated with a time

not have noticeable effects on the overall flow behavior step of 0.02 s. The temperature at the center of the

in the upper half and the heat transfer. upper half is recorded during a flow time of 300 s. The

average of the 15,000 temperature values is 44.98C.

5.3 Temperature field established by the flow The difference between experimental measured and

the model predicted time-averaged temperatures,

Figure 7 shows the temperature distribution and the (44.98–44.8)/44.8=0.4%, is negligibly small. The heat

fluid flow in a vertical center cross-section. Due to the loss to the surrounding through the insulation in the

123

1208 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

structure in the model reactor

lower half is one of the reasons that cause the above and gx = 0 (corresponding to h = 0) to gz = gcos

0.4% difference. Comparing the experimental and (h) and gx = gsin (h) for the reactor tilted h towards

experimental results, the authors conclude that the +x direction.

agreement between the experimental data and the The experimentally visualized flow structure and the

numerical model prediction is reasonably good and the numerically simulated one are given in Fig. 9a, b,

numerical model can be employed with confidence in respectively. In a tilted reactor, the flow structure are

future efforts. qualitatively the same as the one without tiltness

(h = 0). The wall layers are developed along the side-

5.5 Effects of tiltness walls. In the upper core, the flow is 3-D and transient. In

the lower half, both the wall layer and the core flow

The effect of the tiltness of the reactor on the flow is appear steady. The quantitative difference is on the wall

one important issue since in industry reality not layer thickness in the upper half. The wall layer at the

reactor can be perfectly vertical. In this section, we left hand side is weaker than the wall layer at the right

examine the effects of a h = 2 tiltness. The above hand side due to the tiltness of the reactor. Normally, for

model is used to simulate the flow in the tilted reac- both the industry scale and the laboratory scale reac-

tor. Instead of constructing a new grid, we use the tions vessels, the degree of tiltness can be kept less than

same grid and change the gravity vector, from gz = g 2. In other words, the flow structure presented in this

123

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1209

the ball/pallet size in the porous zone has minor effects

8 on the thermal environment in the upper half.

The second parametric study is on the porosity of the

porous region. The ball diameter in the porous media

mm/s

6

and the heat flux on the lower wall are fixed. The

4 porosity of the porous region is the only parameter that

w

2 well compactly packed porous region. In industry

hydrothermal growth reactor, / = 0.768 is the maxi-

0

mum possible porosity. Further increase of the porosity

will lead to the collapse of the porous structure. Within

the above range of porosities, the time averaged tem-

45.1 perature and vertical velocity at the center of the upper

half are again chosen to represent the thermal envi-

T - Tinf C

o

45.0

notices immediately that the variation of the porosity in

the porous region in the range from 0.439 to 0.768 has

44.9 minor effects on the thermal environments in the upper

half. One can conclude that in industry growth reactor,

the variation of porosity, either caused by the initial

44.8

0 50 100 150 200 250 porosity or the dissolving of the raw material, has minor

t - t0 effects on the thermal environment in the upper half.

The third parametric study is on the heat flow rate

Fig. 8 The fluctuations of flow velocity and fluid temperature at on the lower half wall. We kept the ball size and the

the center of the upper half (x = 0, y = 0, z/H = 0.25) porosity fixed and varied only the heat flux on the

lower wall. As shown in Fig. 10c, the temperature and

paper is typical in all reaction vessels at practice in the the vertical velocity at the center of the upper half

unsteady laminar/transitional flow regime. change linearly with the total heat flow rate. The above

three parametric studies have clearly shown that the

5.6 Parametric studies with the numerical model determining factor of the thermal environment in the

upper half is the heat flow rate imposed on the lower

The first parametric study is the effects of the ball size half wall. The numerical efforts by Chen et al. [7, 8] on

(in the porous region) on the thermal environment in a low aspect ratio lower half heated upper half cooled

the upper core. In hydrothermal growth vessels, the enclosure employed constant temperature boundaries

initial sizes of the raw material pellets are normally for the upper and lower walls. The flow and tempera-

different for different growth runs. The pallet size re- ture in the upper half change significantly when the

duces as it the raw material is gradually dissolved. In this porosity varies. However, the variation of the porosity

section, we use the above experimentally validated in the porous zone also leads to the variation of the

numerical model to simulate the flow and heat transfer heat flow rate since constant temperatures are specified

in the model reactor with various ball-sizes in the porous on the lower and upper walls. Unfortunately, the heat

region. The specified heat flux on the lower wall and the flow rates were not correlated to the flow characteris-

porosity in the porous media region are all fixed. The tics and thermal environments in the upper half. With

only parameter that varies is the diameter (size) of the the results presented in this paper, one can see the heat

solid balls. The size of the ball in the porous median flow arte on the lower wall is actually the fundamental

region affects the momentum equations through the two determining factor for the flow and thermal conditions

coefficients C1 and C2. The temperature and the vertical in the reactor upper half.

velocity at the center of the upper half are compared in

Fig. 10a. As one can see, the time averaged temperature

and the vertical velocity at the upper half stay as con- 6 Remarks on applications

stants when the ball size varies in the range of 4.9 to

14.7 mm corresponding to 0.1 < Db/Di < 0.3, which is With the upper half sidewall cooled, wall layer flow is

the normal range of the raw material sizes for hydro- developed along the upper side wall. As found in the

123

1210 Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211

with two degree tiltness

(h = 2). a Digitally corrected

experimental image.

b Numerically simulated flow

pattern

growth experience, seed crystals hung in the wall layer The raw material pellet size and the porosity change

grow into low quality crystals with low uniformity. For during a growth run. As shown by the parametric

growth vessels that are cooled on the upper sidewall, studies, however, the variations of these parameters

growers should avoid putting seed crystals in the region have only minor effects on the environments for

near the sidewall. growth. The thermal and flow conditions in the growth

The collision of the wall layer flows establishes a zone, which determines the growth uniformity and

strong mixing between the hot and cold fluid at the quality, depend the heat flow rate on the lower wall.

median height. The mixing, in turn, leads to the close- Crystal growers should measure and monitor such a

to-uniform temperature in the two cores. For crystal heat flow rate through out the growth run.

growth, the ideal growth vessel should have two zones Chemical reactors, such as super critical water

with clearly different temperatures and perfect mixing reactors, need strong mixing to increase the reaction

in the growth zone. For this purpose, the wall layer speeds. The heating/cooling patches on the vessel walls

collision at the median height should be eliminates can be designed to establish two wall layers that flow in

(e.g., by a deflecting baffle). On the other hand, the the opposite directions. The mixing driven by the wall

strong streams formed after the collision drive the layer flow collision is an ideal passive mixing

mixing in the upper core, which is necessary for a enhancement technique for the closed reaction vessels.

better growth uniformity. For the later reason,

stream(s) should be established in the upper core. With

the above two aspects, a single hole baffle is recom- 7 Conclusions

mended. First the baffle can eliminate the wall layer

collision. Secondly, the stream originated at the baffle The flow and heat transfer in a cylindrical model

opening/hole drives the mixing in the growth zone. hydrothermal reactor is experimentally and numeri-

123

Heat Mass Transfer (2007) 43:1201–1211 1211

for the thermal environments

a) b) c)

in the upper half. a The

0

(Tu - Tu ) / Tu

effects of the size of the balls.

0

b The effects of the porosity. 0.0

c The effects of heat flow rate

-0.6

0.6 Fixed Q, φ Fixed Q, Db Fixed φ, Db

Various Db, Db0=9.8mm Various φ, φ0=0.439 Various Q, Q0=3.1W

0

(wu - wu ) / wu

0

0.0

-0.6

-0.50 -0.25 0.00 0.25 0.50 0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 -0.50 -0.25 0.00 0.25 0.50

(Db - Db0) / Db0 (φ - φ0) / φ0 (Q - Q0) / Q0

half of the reactor are modeled as porous media. The

boundary conditions on the upper and lower side walls 1. Laudise RA, Nielsen JW (1961) Hydrothermal crystal

growth. Solid State Phys 12:149

in the 3-D conjugate model are specified according to 2. Kuznetsov VA, Lobachev AN (1973) Hydrothermal method

the experimentally measured surrounding temperature for the growth of crystals. Sov Phys Crystallogr 17(4):775

and the measured heat flow rate. The agreements be- 3. Lobechev AN (1973) Crystalization process under hydro-

tween the experimental and the numerically predicted thermal conditions. Consultant Bureau, New York

4. Byrappa K (1994) Hydrothermal growth of crystals. In:

results are reasonably good. Hurle DTJ (ed) Handbook of crystal growth. Elsevier Sci-

Results show that in the upper half, the flow structure ence B.V., North-Holland, p 465

consists of a wall layer along the sidewall and a center 5. Klipov VA, Shmakov NN (1991) Influence of convective

core. The wall layer thickness is small compared to the flow on the growth of synthetic quartz crystals. In: Pro-

ceedings of the 45th annual symposium on frequency control,

diameter of the reactor. The core flow is 3-D and highly IEEE 1991. pp 29–36

time dependent. The streams in the core interact with 6. Roux B, Louchart O, Terhmina O (1994) Hydrodynamic

the wall layer and the wall layer appears transient in aspect of hydrothermal synthesis of quartz bulk flow regimes.

nature due to this interaction. In the lower half, the flow J Phys IV 4:C2–3

7. Chen QS, Prasad V, Chatterjee A (1998) Modeling of fluid

also has a wall layer and a core region. The existence of flow and heat transfer in a hydrothermal crystal growth

the porous media reduces the flow strength in the lower system: use of fluid-superposed porous layer theory. Proc

half significantly. The collision, between the downward Am Soc Mech Eng HTD 361–364:119

wall layer in the upper half and the upward wall layer in 8. Chen QS, Prasad V, Chatterjee A, Larkin J (1999) A porous

media-based transport model for hydrothermal growth. J

the lower half, leads to strong mixing between the hot Cryst Growth 198/199:710

and the cold fluid. An almost-uniform-temperature is 9. Li H, Braun MJ, Evans EA, Wang GX, Paudal G, Miller J

established in the upper and lower cores due to the (2005) Flow structure and heat transfer of the natural con-

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structure at the median height is locally affected by the 10. Li H, Evans EA, Wang GX (2003) Flow of solution in

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mining factor of the thermal environments in the upper ing—effects of a baffle on flow and temperature separations.

J Cryst Growth 271(1–2):257–267

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123

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