Natural convection in water-saturated metal foam

V. Kathare, J. H. Davidson, F. A. Kulacki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural convection in water-saturated copper foam is measured for 2.5 × 10-4 < Da < 1.2 × 10-5, 10 < Ram < 210, and 7.5 × 105 < Raf < 2.5 × 108. Experiments are reported for foam with 92% porosity and 10 and 20 pores per inch. The primary finding is that the Nusselt numbers do not follow the published heat transfer correlations with Rayleigh number for a packed bed of spheres and are 27-42% less than that predicted by these correlations at the maximum Rayleigh numbers encountered for Da ∼ 10-5. A single heat transfer correlation of Nusselt number is obtained in terms of Rayleigh and a modified Prandtl number equal to Prm Da- 1 / 2 Cf- 1. In comparison to natural convection in a water layer, enhancement of heat transfer is primarily via conduction. Enhancement of the advective component of heat transfer is obtained only for Raf ∼ 108 and 1.2 × 10-5 ≤ Da ≤ 2.4 × 10-5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3794-3802
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Volume51
Issue number15-16
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support of this work by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment and the US Department of Energy is appreciated.

Keywords

  • Metal foam
  • Natural convection
  • Porous media

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