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Institute of thermal physics Ural Branch of RAN
The main areas of the institute activity:
- nonequilibrum processes with phase transitions;
- thermophysical properties of substances in stable and metastable
- heat transfer in high–intensity processes and increase of
reliability in power.
The Institute of Thermal Physics of the Ural
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences was created in accordance
with the decree of the Presidium of the Ural Branch of RAN N 2-4 of 1
February 1988 and is a successor of the Department of Power Engineering
and Automatics of the Ural Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences
organized by the decree of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of
Sciences N 89 of 27 February 1959. In 1968 by the decree of the
Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences N 624 the Department of Power
Engineering and Automatics was given the name the Department of
Physico-Technical Problems of Energetics.
The main lines of investigations of the Department created were
concentrated on the study of magnetohydrodynamic actions on liquid
conducting media, the development of magnetohydrodynamic electric power
stations and pulsating-field pumps for pumping liquid metals.
In 1972 Doctor of Physics and Mathematics professor Vladimir
Pavlovich Skripov became the head of the Department of
Physico-Technical Problems of Energetics. He managed to attract to
scientific investigations graduates of the Physico-Technical Faculty of
the Ural Polytechnical Institute (now UGTU-UPI) and form a Ural school
of thermophysicists. The main investigations were concentrated on the
study of thermophysical properties of metastable liquids, the kinetics
of phase transitions, processes with the participation of metastable
phases. In these years experimental methods were developed and setups
were created for studying the kinetics of boiling-up and
crystallization of metastable liquids. The temperature and pressure
dependence of the rate of formation of evaporation centres was
investigated for a great number of liquids of different nature
(cryogenic liquids, solutions, polymers, chemically reacting systems).
A study was made of the effects of initiating the boiling-up of a
superheated liquid by ionizing irradiation, acoustic fields,
impurities. The existence of shock regime of evaporation, barocapillary
instability of superheated liquids, explosive nucleation in supercooled
liquids was established. A complex of investigations of thermophysical
properties of superheated liquids (p, p, T-properties, isochoric
and isobaric heat capacity, rate of ultrasound absorption, viscosity,
thermal conductivity, etc.) was performed
With time the school became the acknowledged leader in studying
metastable phase states. In 1981 professor V.P.Skripov was awarded a
Polzunov Prize of the USSR Academy of Sciences for his work on the
physics of metastable states.
Along with the traditional work investigations were initiated in
the area of high-temperature thermal physics and two-phase
heat-transfer devices with capillary pumping of a working fluid.
Systems investigations were pursued in power engineering and power
saving. The investigations of nonequilibrium processes were continued,
the generation of intense flicker noise was discovered during the heat
exchange of superconducting films with a liquid heat-transfer agent.
The Institute takes part in the fulfilment of programs of basic
research of the Presidium of RAN and the Department of Power
Engineering, Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering and Control Processes of
RAN, integration projects with the Siberian and the Far Eastern
Department of RAN.
In 1999 a group of leading scientific workers (B.G.Baidakov,
G.V.Ermakov, V.P.Koverda, Yu.F.Maydanik, P.A.Pavlov, E.N.Sinitsin
(posthumously)) under the leadership of the academician of the Russian
Academy of Sciences V.P.Skripov was awarded a state Rrize of the
Russian Federation in the sphere of science and technology for the
cycle of papers “Metastable liquid states: fundamental investigations
and application to power engineering”.
At present the Institute includes six laboratories in which there
are 41 workers: one academician, one corresponding member of RAN, nine
doctors and 17 candidates of science.
Some applied work has been performed at the Institute.
In co-operation with the joint-stock companies
“Uralteploelectroproect” and “Uraltekhenergo” the Institute developed
gas-turbine expansive stations using the excessive pressure of natural
gas for generating electric power. Since 2002 such an experimental
industrial installation has been in operation at the Middle-Ural
electric thermal power station (the joint-stock company
The Institute has developed MHD-pumps for pumping liquid metals,
highly efficient heat-transfer devices - loop heat pipes - used in
thermoregulation systems of spacecraft “Obzor”, “Mars-96”, etc.
On the basis of the results obtained by the group of systems
investigations recommendations were given to the RF Security Council
for annual analytic papers (1999-2002).
In recent years scientific co-operation with Universities of the
USA, Germany and Taiwan has been progressing successfully. A number of
contracts have been concluded and fulfilled with foreign organizations:
the International Science and Technology Centre, the Chinese Academy of
Space Technologies, the corporation TRW (USA), the corporation MBDA
(France), the corporation Airbus (Germany).
The Institute conducted two All-Union meetings on the physics of
metastable phase states, and in 2002 an International Heat Pipe
Conference with the participation of representatives of 21 countries.
The scientific workers of the Institute have published 10
monographs, every year about 50 scientific papers are published in
Russian and foreign journals. Collected scientific works have been
published for more than 30 years. Since 1997 they have been published
under the same title “Metastable States and Phase Transitions (Nos