The effects of flow orientation on critical heat flux (CHF) were investigated on a series of nine in-line simulated microelectronic chips in Fluorinert FC-72. The chips were subjected to coolant in upflow, downflow, or horizontal flow with the chips on the top or bottom walls of the channel with respect to gravity. Changes in angle of orientation affected CHF for velocities below 200 cm/s, with some chips reaching CHF at heat fluxes below the pool boiling and flooding-induced CHF values. Increased subcooling was found to dampen this adverse effect of orientation slightly. Critical heat flux was overwhelmingly caused by localized dryout of the chip surface. However, during the low velocity downflow tests, low CHF values were measured because of liquid blockage by vapor counterflow and vapor stagnation in the channel. At the horizontal orientation with downward-facing chips, vapor/liquid stratification also yielded low CHF values. Previously derived correlations for water and long, continuous heaters had limited success in predicting CHF for the present discontinuous heater configuration. Because orientation has a profound effect on the hydrodynamics of two-phase flow and, consequently, on CHF for small inlet velocities, downflow angles should be avoided, or when other constraints force the usage of downflow angles, the inlet liquid velocity should be sufficiently large.

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