Visualization of the solid-liquid interface morphology formed by natural convection during melting of a solid from below

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Experiments have been performed to obtain quantitative solid-liquid interface morphology data for melting of n-octadecane from below. Flow visualization experiments have revealed that natural convection flow was established as soon as the critical Rayleigh number was exceeded for the melt layer. For a given bottom temperature, the Benard-like, three-dimensional convection cells increased in size, merged with the neighboring ones and formed nearly two-dimensional rolls as the melting progressed. The mean diameter increased and the number of cells per unit projected area decreased with the melting time. The effect of initial subcooling of the solid was only to delay the development of the solid-liquid interface morphology. © 1984.

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International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer