THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT OF NANOFLUIDS

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Abstract

It has been recognized that nanofluids, a suspension of nanoparticles or nanotubes with size on the order of nanometers, can exhibit very unusual properties. The thermal conductivity of an individual single wall carbon nanotube is 5-10 times greater than that of very conductive materials such as aluminum or copper. It is not surprising that the thermal conductivity of nanofluids has been reported to be much higher then of their base fluid, even with very low particle concentration. The increase has been reported to have very strong temperature dependence and cannot be explained by existing macroscale theories. We report on initial experiments on the thermal conductivity of nanofluids consisting of different base fluids and a wide range of carbon nanotubes concentrations.