A new theoretical model of critical heat flux (CHF) is developed for the flow boiling condition from bubble-detached to low quality range. The CHF condition is postulated to occur when the superheated liquid layer on the heated wall, which is formed under the bubbly layer from the point of the onset of significant void generation, is depleted due to the evaporation along the heated length. The model shows a very promising agreement with the uniformly heated round tube data for both water and refrigerants by simply applying well-known constitutive relationships without any tuning constant for the CHF data. The significance of the proposed model in unifying the existing models is also discussed. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.