Boiling is a complicated physical phenomenon involving at least two phases of matter. Many factors contribute to the system. Liquid to gas conversion takes energy from heated surfaces, preventing overheating in everything from nuclear power plants to powerful computer chips. However, if surfaces become too heated, they may undergo a boiling crisis.
Bubbles form quickly in a boiling crisis and stick together before detaching from the hot surface, creating a vapor layer that insulates the surface from the cooling fluid above. Temperatures rise even quicker, posing a threat of disaster. Operators should be able to forecast such failures. New research using high-speed infrared cameras and artificial intelligence provides insight into the phenomena.
Predicting the vicinity of a brewing disaster not only improves safety it also boosts efficiency. A system might push computer chips or reactors to their limits without limiting them or adding additional cooling hardware by monitoring circumstances in real-time.