Variations of local heat transfer coefficient in piped flow of viscous liquids

  • Michael McIntyre

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Measurements were carried out to determine local coefficients of heat transfer in short lengths of horizontal pipe, and in the region of an discontinuity in pipe diameter. Laminar, transitional and turbulent flow regimes were investigated, and mixtures of propylene glycol and water were used in the experiments to give a range of viscous fluids. Theoretical and empirical analyses were implemented to find how the fundamental mechanism of forced convection was modified by the secondary effects of free convection, temperature dependent viscosity, and viscous dissipation. From experiments with the short tube it was possible to determine simple empirical relationships describing the axial distribution of the local 1usselt number and its dependence on the Reynolds and Prandtl numbers. Small corrections were made to account for the secondary effects mentioned above. Two different entrance configurations were investigated to demonstrate how conditions upstream could influence the heat transfer coefficients measured downstream In experiments with a sudden contraction in pipe diameter the distribution of local 1u3se1t number depended on the Prandtl number of the fluid in a complicated way. Graphical data is presented describing this dependence for a range of fluids indicating how the local Nusselt number varied with the diameter-ratio. Ratios up to 3.34:1 were considered. With a sudden divergence in pipe diameter, it was possible to derive the axial distribution of the local Nusse1t number for a range of Reynolds and Prandtl numbers in a similar way to the convergence experiments. Difficulty was encountered in explaining some of the measurements obtained at low Reynolds numbers, and flow visualization techniques wore used to determine the complex flow patterns which could lead to the anomalous results mentioned. Tests were carried out with divergences up to 1:3.34 to find the way in which the local Nusselt number varied with the diameter ratio, and a few experiments were carried out with very large ratios up .to 14.4. A limited amount of theoretical analysis of the 'divergence' system was carried out to substantiate certain explanations of the heat transfer mechanisms postulated.
Date of Award1973
Original languageEnglish


  • local heat transfer coefficient
  • piped flow
  • viscous liquids

Cite this