Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-1-2022


In many technologies, such as rocket engines and modern power plants, the pressures of the fluids in these systems have increased to increase efficiency. As a result, the fluids are under pressures higher than the critical pressure meaning the fluids are supercritical. Supercritical fluids are unique as a liquid/gas phase equilibrium no longer exists, and a process called pseudo boiling occurs where the fluid properties have steep gradients, which lead to interesting fluid mechanics and heat transfer characteristics. Our understanding of supercritical fluids has had exciting advances over the years. However, there are still phenomena that are still not well understood. This thesis discusses a new physical mechanism that causes a sharpening of the interfacial density gradient, which has strong effects on two different not well-understood supercritical phenomena. First is the formation of droplets and bubbles in a pure supercritical fluid without surface tension, and second is a supercritical heat transfer deterioration.

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Daniel Banuti

Second Committee Member

Svetlana Poroseva

Third Committee Member

Peter Vorobieff

Fourth Committee Member

Brandon Williams

Document Type