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A correlation for the evaporation of sessile drops over a very broad range of conditions was developed based on measured evaporation rate data obtained for drops of acetone, methanol, and six hydrocarbons ranging from hexane to isooctane, evaporating in air, helium, argon, and krypton, over a range of ambient pressures from 96 kPa to 615 kPa. The experiments were designed to produce a large variation in the rates of diffusion and buoyancy-induced (natural) convection of the vapor phase amongst the experimental conditions. The correlation, which fits the measurements with an RMS relative error of 5.2%, is a simple equation involving conventional parameters for diffusive and convective transport and is applicable to conditions for which vapor transport limits the rate of evaporation. Application of the correlation requires knowledge of eight basic properties: the ambient pressure and temperature, the equilibrium vapor pressure of the evaporating component, the diffusion coefficient for the evaporating component in the ambient gas, the viscosity of the ambient gas, the radius of the sessile drop, and the molecular weights of the evaporating component and the ambient gas. The correlation is much easier to implement than a computational model based on the coupled conservation equations of mass, energy, and momentum for the two phases, and it offers a single mathematical expression that provides valuable insight into how the roles of diffusive and convective transport change with physical and geometrical parameters. The correlation can be a valuable tool to aid in the analyses of applications involving sessile drop evaporation and to support the validation of complex computational models.

The range of experimental conditions resulted in a large variation in the rates of diffusive and naturally convective transport of the vapor. Over the range of experimental conditions, the liquid volatility, as indicated by the equilibrium vapor pressure, was varied by a factor of 16.7, the mass diffusivity by a factor of 52.2, the density difference ratio (the impetus for natural convection) by a factor of 3,557, and the drop radius by a factor of 22. In terms of the Rayleigh number, the experimental data covers a range from 5 to 361,000. Consequently, the correlation is applicable to a very broad range of conditions. To our knowledge these evaporation rate measurements of sessile drops in gases other than air and at pressures above one atmosphere are the first to be reported in the literature.

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

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