In this work, a conjugate heat transfer model was established to numerically investigate the conjugate thermal performance of a steam-cooled ribbed channel with thick metallic walls. By employing the software of ANSYS CFX, the flow field in the channel and the temperature field in the solid channel were calculated. The flow behavior, heat transfer performance and temperature gradient distributions of ribbed channels with wall thickness (δ) of 1–5 mm, rib height-to-hydraulic diameter (e/D) of 0.047–0.188, rib pitch-to-height ratio (P/e) of 5–15 and rib angle-of-attack (α) of 30°–90° were compared and analyzed. The optimum structure parameters of thick-wall ribbed channel with higher heat transfer performance and lower maximum temperature gradient were obtained. The results show that the SST k-ω turbulence model is more suitable for the conjugate heat transfer problem of steam in the thick-wall ribbed channels. The friction factor reduces gradually with the increase of Re, increases greatly with the increase of e/D and α, and first increases then decreases with the increase of P/e. The average Nusselt number increases up to 8.81 times, while the maximum temperature gradient decreases about 45.35% when Reynolds number varies from 10,000 to 70,000. The rib angle of about 45°–60°, e/D of 0.188, and P/e of 10 are suitable to obtain the optimum thermal performance of steam flow in the ribbed channel. The influence of δ on the flow and heat transfer characteristics is non-significant.

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