The evaporation of a single droplet of liquid nitrogen, levitated during film boiling above a solid, impervious surface, was studied experimentally. The droplet initial diameter (1.9 mm), surface temperature (~20°C), ambient temperature (~20°C), and ambient pressure (~0.1 MPa) were held constant. The principal parameters varied were the surface material (copper or glass), and roughness (0.35 to 50 μm). Measurements were made of the droplet diameter evolution and the surface temperature variation during droplet impact. Predictions from existing models of droplets in Leidenfrost evaporation agree well with measurements of the droplet evaporation rate. The droplet lifetime was found to be slightly longer on the glass surface than it was on the copper surface, corresponding to the greater cooling of the glass surface during droplet impact. The droplet evaporation rate was unchanged by small increases in surface roughness. However, ridges on the surface with a height of the same magnitude as the thickness of the vapor film under the drop caused vapor bubble nucleation in the droplet, and significantly reduced the droplet evaporation time.

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