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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 phase states;

  • heat transfer in highintensity 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 Sverdlovenergo).
     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 1-7).