On the heat transfer effects of nanofluids within rotor-stator cavities

D. Fernando, S. Gao, Stephen Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Owing to the rapid development of a number of technological and industrial sectors, high-performance electronic devices are now ubiquitous in modern engineering and industrial applications. Effective heat management is crucial to the smooth operation of such devices, and sometimes conventional methods of heat transfer fail to deliver the required performance. Recent advances in the field of nanofluids are a promising route to improve heat-transfer performance, and this is our motivation. We propose two computational fluid dynamics models for a rotor-stator cavity operating at Reω = 1.0 × 105 and filled with a fluid that consists of different volume fractions of Al2O3 nanoparticles. The first model simulates the nanofluid mixture using a single-phase transport model, and the second approach uses a two-phase transport model that allows for the relative velocity between the particle and fluid phases. All simulations are conducted using the second-order accurate solver, OpenFOAM®, that is based on the finite volume method and using Large eddy simulation methods. Our results show that the higher volume fractions of Al2O3 nanoparticles can achieve higher heat transfer rates, and at the same time, dilute nanoparticle concentrations have subtle effects on the momentum transport of the system. This is an advantage over micro-particle dispersion. Furthermore, we consider the effects of particle forces in the two-phase model, such as Brownian and thermophoresis forces, and suggest that the thermophoresis forces are the dominant effect within the cavity geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number082007
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2018


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