Investigation on Thermal Conductivity, Viscosity and Stability of Nanofluids
In this thesis, two important thermo-physical properties of nanofluids: thermal conductivity and viscosity together with shelf stability of them are investigated.
Nanofluids are defined as colloidal suspension of solid particles with the size of lower than 100 nanometer. Thermal conductivity, viscosity and stability of nanofluids were measured by means of TPS method, rotational method and sedimentation balance method, respectively. TPS analyzer and viscometer were calibrated in the early stage and all measured data were in the reasonable range. Effect of some parameters including temperature, concentration, size, shape, alcohol addition and sonication time has been studied on thermal conductivity and viscosity of nanofluids. It has been concluded that increasing temperature, concentration and sonication time can lead to thermal conductivity enhancement while increasing amount of alcohol can decrease thermal conductivity of nanofluids. Generally, tests relating viscosity of nanofluids revealed that increasing concentration increases viscosity; however, increasing other investigated parameters such as temperature, sonication time and amount of alcohol decrease viscosity. In both cases, increasing size of nanofluid results in thermal conductivity and viscosity reduction up to specific size (250 nm) while big particle size (800 nm) increases thermal conductivity and viscosity, drastically. In addition, silver nanofluid with fiber shaped nanoparticles showed higher thermal conductivity and viscosity compared to one with spherical shape nanoparticles.
Furthermore, effect of concentration and sonication time have been inspected on stability of nanofluids. Test results indicated that increasing concentration speeds up sedimentation of nanoparticles while bath sonication of nanofluid brings about lower weight for settled particles. Considering relative thermal conductivity to relative viscosity of some nanofluids exposes that ascending or descending behavior of graph can result in some preliminary evaluation regarding applicability of nanofluids as coolant. It can be stated that ascending trend shows better applicability of the sample in higher temperatures while it is opposite for descending trend. Meanwhile, it can be declared that higher value for this factor shows more applicable nanofluid with higher thermal conductivity and less viscosity.
Finally, it has been shown that sedimentation causes reduction of thermal conductivity as well as viscosity.
For further research activities, it would be suggested to focus more on microscopic investigation regarding behavior of nanofluids besides macroscopic study.
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