The bubble departure radius is a very important parameter for bubble dynamics during boiling heat transfer. In this study, experiments of highly subcooled nucleate pool boiling of FC-72 were conducted on two different sized silicon chips (chip S 2 × 2 and chip S 1 × 1) in short-term microgravity and normal gravity conditions by utilizing the drop tower in Beijing. During the experimental study, bubble dynamics were captured by a high-speed digital camera. From the images at the bubble departure moment, the bubble departure radius was obtained. Although the traditional force balance model is modified through the addition of a Marangoni force, it still cannot precisely predict the bubble departure radius in the microgravity condition, especially in the low heat flux regime. By using the advancing contact angle measured from the bubble departure moment instead of the static contact angle, and considering the bubble asymmetry due to the small bubble coalescence and the surrounding liquid motion, a revised force balance model is proposed. It can predict the experimental bubble departure radius within a deviation of ±3.8% for both silicon chips in the whole heat flux range.

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