Melting of a vertical wall as a result of condensation of saturated vapor is investigated both analytically and experimentally. Employing similarity transformations, full boundary layer equations governing laminar films of melt and condensate are solved numerically for high Prandtl number liquids. Numerical results for the melting and condensation heat transfer and for the melt-condensate interface temperature are obtained. Experiments are conducted by condensing saturated steam on vertical surfaces of slabs made of naphthalene, biphenyl and stearic acid. The data are found to compare well with the predictions. The analysis is extended to condensation on melting surfaces with shapes yielding variable gravity in the direction of flow.

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