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Effect of Particle Size on Thermal Conductivity of Nanofluid

  • Symposium: Materials Behavior: Far from Equilibrium
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Nanofluids, containing nanometric metallic or oxide particles, exhibit extraordinarily high thermal conductivity. It is reported that the identity (composition), amount (volume percent), size, and shape of nanoparticles largely determine the extent of this enhancement. In the present study, we have experimentally investigated the impact of Al2Cu and Ag2Al nanoparticle size and volume fraction on the effective thermal conductivity of water and ethylene glycol based nanofluid prepared by a two-stage process comprising mechanical alloying of appropriate Al-Cu and Al-Ag elemental powder blend followed by dispersing these nanoparticles (1 to 2 vol pct) in water and ethylene glycol with different particle sizes. The thermal conductivity ratio of nanofluid, measured using an indigenously developed thermal comparator device, shows a significant increase of up to 100 pct with only 1.5 vol pct nanoparticles of 30- to 40-nm average diameter. Furthermore, an analytical model shows that the interfacial layer significantly influences the effective thermal conductivity ratio of nanofluid for the comparable amount of nanoparticles.

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Partial financial support from the NSTI project of the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi (Grant No. SR/S5/NM-04/2005), and the All India Council of Technical Education, New Delhi (to M. Chopkar), is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to M. Chopkar.

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This article is based on a presentation given in the symposium entitled “Materials Behavior: Far from Equilibrium” as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, which occurred December 15–16, 2006 in Mumbai, India.

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Chopkar, M., Sudarshan, S., Das, P. et al. Effect of Particle Size on Thermal Conductivity of Nanofluid. Metall Mater Trans A 39, 1535–1542 (2008).

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