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Experimental investigation of nanofluid stability on thermal performance and flow regimes in pulsating heat pipe


Pulsating heat pipe (PHP) is a type of wickless heat pipe that has a simple structure and an outstanding thermal performance. Nanofluid is a type of fluid in which nanoparticles are dispersed in a base fluid and have generally a better thermal conductivity in comparison with its base fluid. In this article, the performance of a nanofluid PHP is investigated. Graphene/water nanofluid with a concentration of 1 mg mL−1 and TiO2 (titania)/water nanofluid with a concentration of 10 mg mL−1 are used as the working fluids. To simultaneously investigate the thermal performance and flow regimes in the PHP, a one-turn copper PHP with a Pyrex glass attached to its adiabatic section is used. A one-turn Pyrex PHP is also used to fully visualize flow patterns in the PHP. Our results show that the material for the fabrication of a PHP and temperature of the working fluid are the most important parameters that affect the stability of a nanofluid in the PHP. The more stable nanofluid keeps its stability in the cupper PHP, while the less stable nanofluid starts to aggregate right after the injection to the cupper PHP. The more stable nanofluid has a better thermal performance than water, while the less stable nanofluid has a worse thermal performance than water. In the case of flow regimes, no significant differences are observed between the nanofluid PHP and the water PHP which is different from the previous observations. These results can help researchers to choose the best working fluid for PHPs.

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A :

Surface area (m2)

h :

Heat transfer coefficient (W m−2 °C−1)

L :

Length (m)

Q :

Heat input (W)

R :

Thermal resistance (°C W−1)

r :

Radius (m)

T :

Temperature (°C)

\(\delta\) :

Differential operator








Data logger


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Financial support from Iran National Science Foundation (INSF), through Grant No. 940017 is greatly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Hassan Saidi.

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Akbari, A., Saidi, M.H. Experimental investigation of nanofluid stability on thermal performance and flow regimes in pulsating heat pipe. J Therm Anal Calorim 135, 1835–1847 (2019).

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  • Pulsating heat pipe (PHP)
  • Titania/water nanofluid
  • Graphene/water nanofluid
  • Flow patterns/regimes
  • Thermal performance