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Conduction

Module ME5011 THERMOFLUID AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS 2
HEAT TRANSFER - CONDUCTION

When there is a temperature difference in a medium or between media, heat transfer
occurs. Heat transfer is the energy transferred due a temperature difference.
Heat transfer occurs in three main different modes: conduction, convection and
Conduction is the heat transfer across a stationary medium (solid or fluid) under the
influence of a temperature difference, without appreciable displacement of the
particles in the medium. Convection involves the transfer of heat by mixing one
parcel of fluid with another. Thermal radiation is the mode of heat transfer by
electromagnetic waves.
This topic will deal with heat transfer by conduction. The actual mechanism of
conduction is complex. The transfer of heat occurs at atomic and molecular levels. By
interaction between atom or molecule particles at microscopic level, energy is
transferred from the most energetic particles (higher temperature) to the less energetic
ones (lower temperature). There are many examples of heat transfer by conduction.
For example the end of a metal spoon immersed in a cup of hot coffee will eventually
be warmed due to the conduction of energy through the spoon. In winter there is a
loss of energy from a heated room to the outside air because of conduction through
the walls separating the room air from the outside air.

1. Fouriers Law of conduction

The amount of energy transferred per unit time (also called the rate of heat flow, in
J/s or W) by conduction may be calculated using the Fouriers Law of conduction,
which is an empirical law based on observations in one-dimensional flows. Fouriers
Law, states that the rate of heat flow, Q

## , through a homogeneous solid (Figure 1) is:

dx
dT
kA Q

(1)

This differential equation shows that the heat transferred by conduction, Q

in W (or
J/s), is directly proportional to:
the area of the section at right angles to the direction of heat flow, A in m
2

the change of temperature with respect to the length of the path of the heat
flow, dT/dx in K/m,
the type of material, with thermal conductivity k in W/(m K).
The minus sign in equation (1) is a consequence of the fact that heat is transferred in
the direction of decreasing temperature (from higher to lower values).

2
Conduction
T
1
T
2
T
1
>T
2
dT
dx
Material with conductivity
k
x
1
x
12
x
2
x
Q

Area A

Figure 1. Heat flow through a slab of material.

The heat flux is the rate of heat transferred per unit area perpendicular to the direction
of flow:

dx
dT
k A / Q q

(2)

For a steady flow, considered in this topic, the temperature at any point does not vary
with time and Q

## is constant through successive layers of the material for one-

dimensional flow.
Integrating equation (1),
2
1
2
1
T
T
x
x
dT k A dx Q

.
Since Q

is constant and assuming that the conductivity k does not vary with
temperature, we obtain
2
1
2
1
T
T
x
x
dT A k dx Q

, ) T T ( . kA ) x x ( Q
1 2 1 2

. Finally,

12 1 2
1 2
x
T
kA
x x
T T
kA Q

(3)

12 1 2
1 2
x
T
k
x x
T T
k A / Q q

(4)

Figure 2 gives the thermal conductivity for some materials. Values vary with
temperature in general. However when the temperature difference T
2
-T
1
between the
two outside surfaces of the slab is small, a mean value of k may be chosen and
assumed constant. If the temperature difference is large, the variation of k with
temperature should be taken into account in the previous integrations.

3
Conduction

Figure 2. Typical values of thermal conductivities, k [W/m K].

Example 1: Calculate the rate of heat loss from a concrete wall, 10 m long, 5 m high
and 0.3 m thick, if the internal and external surface temperatures are 33C and 5C
respectively. Take thermal conductivity of concrete, k=0.93 W/m K.

X
12
=0.3 m
10 m
5 m
T
1
=33C T
2
=5C
concrete
Area A
Q

T
1
=33C, T
2
=5C, thickness x
12
=0.3 m, area A=10*5=50 m
2
.
From equation (3),
4340
3 . 0
) 273 33 ( ) 273 5 (
50 93 . 0
x
T T
kA
x x
T T
kA Q
12
1 2
1 2
1 2

W.

The rate of heat loss is 4.34 kW.

4
Conduction
2. One-dimensional steady conduction through a composite wall

We consider a wall built up of three different materials (Figure 3). The outside surface
temperatures of the wall are T
1
and T
4
and the temperature of the interfaces are T
2
and
T
3
.
T
1
T
2
k
1
x
12
Q

k
2
T
3
x
23
x
34
T
4
k
3

Figure 3. Heat flow through a composite wall.

For a steady flow, the heat flow is constant and is the same through successive slabs,
thus:

34
3 4
3
23
2 3
2
12
1 2
1
x
T T
A k
x
T T
A k
x
T T
A k Q

. (5)
Rearranging:

A k
x Q
T T
1
12
1 2

.

A k
x Q
T T
2
23
2 3

.

A k
x Q
T T
3
34
3 4

.

Adding the right and left hands sides of the equations,

3
34
2
23
1
12
1 4
k
x
k
x
k
x
A
Q
T T

This can be stated in the form

) T T ( UA
k
x
k
x
k
x
) T T ( A
Q
1 4
3
34
2
23
1
12
1 4

(6)

5
Conduction
Where U is the overall heat transfer coefficient for the wall, defined as:

3
34
2
23
1
12
k
x
k
x
k
x
U
1
. (7)

In more general terms, for a composite wall of N different layers

N
1 i
i
1 i i
k
x
U
1
. (8)

Where k
i
is the conductivity of the layer of thickness
1 i i
x .
1/U is the overall resistance to heat flow and is the sum of the individual resistances
x/k in series.

Example 2: A brick wall 0.254 m thick, is faced with concrete 0.0508 m thick. If the
temperature of the exposed brick surface is 33C and that of the exposed concrete
surface is 5C, calculate the heat loss through a wall 10 m long and 5 m high. Find the
interface temperature between the brick and the concrete.
Take Thermal conductivity of brick, k
brick
=0.692 W/m K.
Thermal conductivity of concrete, k
concrete
=0.935 W/m K.

Heat loss through the wall
T
1
=33C T
int
Brick
k
1
x
1
=0.254 m
Q

Concrete
k
2
x
2
=0.05 m
T
2
=5C
5 m

Area, A=5*10=50 m
2

Overall heat transfer coefficient: 421 . 0
935 . 0
0508 . 0
692 . 0
254 . 0
k
x
k
x
U
1
2
2
1
1
4 (m
2
K)/W
Therefore U=1/0.4214=2.373 W/(m
2
K)

) 33 5 ( 50 373 . 2 ) T T ( UA Q
1 2

=3322 W.

The heat loss through the wall is 3.322 kW.

6
Conduction
Interface temperature

1
1 int
1
x
T T
A k Q

, i.e 6 . 8 39 . 24 33
50 692 . 0
254 . 0 3322
33
A k
x Q
T T
1
1
1 int

C

The interface temperature is 8.6 C.

Composite wall separating two fluids
Heat transfer most often occurs between two fluids separated by a dividing wall. A
typical temperature distribution in a fluid near a wall is shown in Figure 4. We will
consider the rate at which heat is transferred from one fluid to another fluid through a
plane wall. It is necessary to know the heat transferred from a solid to a fluid and
vice versa.

Solid
Fluid
T
b
Slop=(dT/dx)
w
Temperature
profile
T
w
T
w
>T
b
Q

Figure 4: Temperature profile in a fluid boundary layer.

Most of the temperature drop occurs close to the wall in a stagnant boundary layer,
which adheres to the wall. The heat transfer process in this boundary layer is
essentially by conduction. Further away from the wall, the heat transfer is assisted by
convection and the temperature gradient decreases. The heat flow could be found
from
w
f
dx
dT
A k Q

where
w
dx
dT
is the temperature gradient in the fluid at the
wall, and k
f
is the thermal conductivity of the fluid in the boundary layer. However,
neither of these is easy to find. Newtons law of cooling states that the heat transfer
from a solid surface of area A, at a temperature T
w
, to a fluid at temperature T
b

(T
w
>T
b
) is given by:

) T T ( A h ) T T ( A h Q
b w f w b f

(9)

where h
f
is a surface heat transfer coefficient or film coefficient. The heat transfer
coefficient depends on the properties of the fluid and the fluid velocity. The unit of h
f

is W/(m
2
K), Q

## is in W. The heat flow thus calculated contains the combined effects

of conduction and convection in the fluid.

7
Conduction

For a composite wall separating two fluids a and b, respectively at temperature T
a
and
T
b
(Figure 5) we have:
) T T ( A h
x
T T
A k
x
T T
A k ) T T ( A h Q
2 w b 2 f
2
int 2 w
2
1
1 w int
1 a 1 w 1 f

(10)

T
int
h
f1
T
w1
k
1
x
1
Q

k
2
x
2
h
f2
T
w2 Fluid a
T
a
Fluid b
T
b

Figure 5. Composite wall separating two fluids.

Rearranging equation (10):

1 f
a 1 w
h
1
A
Q
T T

.

1
1
1 w int
k
x
A
Q
T T

.

2
2
int 2 w
k
x
A
Q
T T

.

2 f
2 w b
h
1
A
Q
T T

.

2 f 2
2
1
1
1 f
a b
h
1
k
x
k
x
h
1
A
Q
T T

.
This can be stated in the form

) T T ( UA
h
1
k
x
k
x
h
1
) T T ( A
Q
a b
2 f 2
2
1
1
1 f
a b

(11)

Where U is the overall heat transfer coefficient defined as:

2 f 2
2
1
1
1 f
h
1
k
x
k
x
h
1
U
1
. (12)

8
Conduction
In more general terms, for a composite wall of N different layers separating two
fluids:

2 f
N
1 i
i
i
1 f
h
1
k
x
h
1
U
1
. (13)

Where k
i
is the conductivity of the layer of thickness x
i
.

Example 3: A brick wall, 0.254 m thick, is faced with concrete 0.0508 m thick. The
inside room air temperature is 33C and the outside air temperature is 5C. Calculate
the heat loss from a wall 10 m long and 5 m high. What are the inner and outer wall
surface temperatures.
Take Thermal conductivity of brick, k
brick
=0.692 W/m K.
Thermal conductivity of concrete, k
concrete
=0.935 W/m K.
Inner and outer surface heat transfer coefficient h
f
=3.982 W/m
2
K

Heat loss
From Figure 5: h
f1
=h
f2
=3.982 W/m
2
K, k
1
=0.692 W/m K, x
1
=0.254 m,
k
2
=0.935 W/m K, x
2
=0.0508 m.
A=10*5=50 m
2
.

Overall heat transfer coefficient:
2 f 2
2
1
1
1 f
h
1
k
x
k
x
h
1
U
1

924 . 0
982 . 3
1
935 . 0
0508 . 0
692 . 0
254 . 0
982 . 3
1
U
1
(m
2
K)/W
Therefore U=1/0.924=1.083 W/(m
2
K)

1516 ) 33 5 ( 50 083 . 1 ) T T ( UA Q
a b

W.

The heat loss from the wall is 1.516 kW.

Temperatures of inside and outside wall surfaces
Inside wall temperature T
w1:
) T T ( A h Q
a 1 w 1 f

i.e.
1 f
a 1 w
h
1
A
Q
T T

4 . 25
982 . 3
1
50
1516
33
h
1
A
Q
T T
1 f
a 1 w

C. T
w1
=25.4 C.
Outside wall temperature T
w2:
) T T ( A h Q
2 w b 2 f

i.e.
2 f
b 2 w
h
1
A
Q
T T

6 . 12
982 . 3
1
50
1516
5
h
1
A
Q
T T
2 f
b 2 w

C. T
w2
=12.6 C.

9
Conduction

Consider a long cylinder (circular tube) of internal radius r
1
2
and
conductivity k (Figure 6). The inner and outer surface temperatures are T
1
and T
2

respectively. The length of the cylinder is L. Only steady state heat flow is
considered, it follows that the radial heat flow through successive layers of the
cylinder must be constant. Since the perimeter of these layers increases with radius,
conduction through the wall, it is convenient to consider unit length of tube than the
unit surface area. For any elemental cylindrical tube of thickness dr, the area normal
to the direction of heat transfer is rL 2 A and the temperature gradient normal to
the cylinder is dT/dr. According to Fouriers Law, the rate of heat flow through this
element is

dr
dT
) rL 2 ( k
dr
dT
kA Q

(14)
For the analysis, we consider the heat transferred per unit length of cylinder,
L
q

dr
dT
) r 2 ( k L / Q q
L

(15)
Since
L
q is constant, integration gives

2
1
2
1
T
T
r
r
L
dT k 2
r
dr
q (16)
and ssuming the conductivity k independent of temperature,
) T T ( k 2
r
r
ln q
1 2
1
2
L
(17)

) r / r ln(
T T
k 2 q
1 2
1 2
L
(18)

Where ln is the logarithm and the unit of
L
q is W/m. The thermal resistance of the
cylinder is
k 2
) r / r ln(
R
1 2
. According to equation (18), the heat transfer rate depends
on the ratio of the radii, r
2
/r
1
and not on the difference r
2
-r
1
. For the same temperature
difference, the smaller the ratio r
2
/r
1
, then the higher is the heat flow.

T
1
T
2
r
1
r
2
L
q
L

(a). Cross Section (b) Longitudinal section
Figure 6. Radial heat conduction through a cylinder.

10
Conduction
Composite cylinder separating two fluids

Consider a composite cylinder of length L through which heat is being transferred
from one fluid at temperature T
a
to another fluid at temperature T
b
(Figure 7). The
heat transfer coefficients inside and outside are h
f1
and h
f2
state heat conduction is occurring,

) T T ( r 2 h
) r / r ln(
) T T ( k 2
) r / r ln(
) T T ( k 2
) r / r ln(
) T T ( k 2
) T T ( r 2 h q
2 w b 4 2 f
3 4
2 2 w 3
2 3
1 2 2
1 2
1 w 1 1
a 1 w 1 1 f L

(19)
T
w1
and T
w2
are the inside and outside surface temperatures.

Figure 7. Conduction through a composite cylinder.

Rearranging equation (19):

1 f 1
L a 1 w
h r 2
1
q T T .

1
1 2
L 1 w 1
k 2
) r / r ln(
q T T .

2
2 3
L 1 2
k 2
) r / r ln(
q T T .

3
3 4
L 2 2 w
k 2
) r / r ln(
q T T .

2 f 4
L 2 w b
h r 2
1
q T T .
Adding the right and left hands sides of the equations,

2 f 4 3
3 4
2
2 3
1
1 2
1 f 1
L a b
h r 2
1
k 2
) r / r ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
h r 2
1
q T T

11
Conduction

This can be stated in the form

) T T ( U
h r 2
1
k 2
) r / r ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
h r 2
1
) T T (
q
a b
2 f 4 3
3 4
2
2 3
1
1 2
1 f 1
a b
L

(20)

Where U is the overall heat transfer coefficient defined as:

2 f 4 3
3 4
2
2 3
1
1 2
1 f 1
h r 2
1
k 2
) r / r ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
h r 2
1
U
1
(21)

In more general terms, for a composite cylinder of N different layers separating two
fluids:

2 f 1 N
N
1 i
i
i 1 i
1 f 1
h r 2
1
k 2
) r / r ln(
h r 2
1
U
1
(22)

Where k
i
is the conductivity of the layer of internal radius r
i
i+1
.
1/U could also be seen as the total thermal resistance.

The thermal resistance of the cylindrical layer is
i
i 1 i
i
k 2
) r / r ln(
R
The resistance of the fluid layer is
f
rh 2
1
R

Consideration of the equations developed so far shows that applying lagging to a pipe
does not always reduce heat loss. Consider a thin metal tube of radius r
1
which is kept
at a constant temperature T
1
and is lagged with poor insulating material of
conductivity k and external radius r. The temperature of the surrounding fluid is T
2

and the surface heat transfer coefficient is h
f
.
Then ) T T ( U q
1 2 L
and
k 2
) r / r ln(
rh 2
1
U
1
1
f
.
Differentiating, we have
r
1
k
1
r h
1
dr
dU
U
2
2
f
2
.
The derivative 0
dr
dU
when
f
h
k
r .
In most normal circumstances, insulation will reduce the heat loss. However, for
value r such that r
1
< r <k/h
f
, the insulation will actually increase the heat loss. The
critical radius is usually small, and normally exceed, except when h
f
is small or k is
large. For example the critical radius for insulation having k=0.173 W/m K and
h
f
=9.654 W/m
2
K is
654 . 9
173 . 0
h
k
r
f
c
=0.018 m (18 mm).

12
Conduction
Example 4:
A steel pipe of 100 mm bore and 7 mm wall thickness, carrying steam at T
a
=260 C,
is insulated with 40 mm of diatomaceous earth covering, this covering in turn
insulated with 60 mm of asbestos. The atmospheric temperature is T
b
=15 C. The heat
tranfer coefficients for the inside and outside surfaces are h
f1
=550 W/m
2
K and h
f2
=15
W/m
2
K respectively. The thermal conductivities of steel, diamomaceous earth, and
asbestos are k
1
=50, k
2
=0.09 and k
3
=0.07 W/m K respectively.
Calculate:
(i) the rate of heat loss by the steam per unit length of pipe,
(ii) the temperature of the outside surface.

r
1
=50 mm, r
2
=57 mm, r
3
=97 mm, r
4
=157 mm.

Rate of heat loss per unit length of pipe,
L
q
There are three (3) layers. The rate of heat loss is given by equation (20)
) T T ( U q
a b L
.
The overall heat transfer coeffient is given by equation (22). 1/U is the total
resistance. The thermal resistance of the layer of internal radius r
i
r
i+1
and conductivity k
i
is
i
i 1 i
i
k 2
) r / r ln(
R .
Resistance of the steel pipe 000417 . 0
50 2
) 50 / 57 ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
R
1
1 2
1
m K/W
Resistance of diatomaceous earth 94 . 0
09 . 0 2
) 57 / 97 ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
R
2
2 3
2
m K/W.
Resistance of asbestos 095 . 1
07 . 0 2
) 97 / 157 ln(
k 2
) r / r ln(
R
3
3 4
3
m K/W.
Therefore,
3
1 i
3 2 1
i
i 1 i
R R R
k 2
) r / r ln(
=0.000147+0.94+1.095=2.035147 m K/W.
15 157 . 0 2
1
035147 . 2
550 05 . 0 2
1
h r 2
1
k 2
) r / r ln(
h r 2
1
U
1
2 f 4
3
1 i
i
i 1 i
1 f 1
1087 . 2
U
1
m K/W and U=1/2.1087=0.47423 W/m K.
The rate of heat loss is 2 . 116 ) 260 15 ( 47423 . 0 ) T T ( U q
a b L

W/m.

Rate of heat loss per unit length=116.2 W/m.

13
Conduction
Temperature of the outside surface, T
w2

Using Figure 7,
2 f 4
L 2 w b
h r 2
1
q T T
85 . 22
15 157 . 0 2
1
2 . 116 15
h r 2
1
q T T
2 f 4
L b 2 w
C
The temperature of the outside surface is 22.85C.

Consider a hollow sphere of internal radius r
1
2
, and conductivity k
(Figure 8). The inner and outer surface temperatures are T
1
and T
2
respectively. The
area of any small spherical element of thickness dr, at any radius r, is
2
r 4 A and
the temperature gradient dT/dr. According to Fouriers Law, the rate of heat flow
through this element is

dr
dT
) r 4 ( k
dr
dT
kA Q
2

(23)
Since Q

## is constant (steady state), and assuming the conductivity k independent of

temperature, integration gives

2
1
2
1
T
T
r
r
2
dT k 4
r
dr
Q

2
1
2
1
T
T
r
r
T k 4
r
1
Q

or ) T T ( k 4
r
1
r
1
Q
1 2
1 2

) T T ( k 4
r r
r r
Q
1 2
2 1
2 1

) T T (
r r
r kr 4
Q
1 2
1 2
2 1

(24)

The unit of Q

is W or kW.
The thermal resistance of the hollow sphere is
2 1
1 2
r kr 4
r r
R .

Figure 8. Radial heat conduction through a hollow sphere.

14
Conduction
Composite sphere separating two fluids

Consider a composite sphere through which heat is being transferred from one fluid at
temperature T
a
to another fluid at temperature T
b
(Figure 8). The internal and external
heat transfer coefficients are respectively h
f1
and h
f2
. Following a procedure similar to
the case of the cylinder, if the sphere has N concentric layers of conductivity k
i
:
) T T ( U Q
a b

(25)
with

2 f
2
1 N
N
1 i
1 i i i
i 1 i
1 f
2
1
h r 4
1
r r k 4
) r r (
h r 4
1
U
1
(26)

Where k
i
is the conductivity of the concentric sphere of internal radius r
i
and external
i+1
(the thermal resistance is
1 i i i
i 1 i
i
r r k 4
r r
R ).
The thermal resistance of the fluid layer is
f
2
h r 4
1
.

Example 5:
A small spherical oven is built of an inner layer of insulating firebrick 125 mm thick,
and an outer covering of magnesia 40 mm thick. The inside radius is r
1
=0.6 m. The
inner surface of the oven is at T
1
=800 C and the heat transfer coefficient for the
outside surface is h
f2
=10 W/m
2
K. The room temperature is T
b
=20 C. The thermal
conductivities of firebrick and magnesia are k
1
=0.31 and k
2
=0.05 W/mK respectively.
Calculate the rate of heat loss through the sphere.

r
1
=0.6 m, r
2
=0.6+0.125=0.725 m, r
3
=0.725+0.04=0.765 m.
Rate of heat loss per unit length of pipe, ) T T ( U Q
1 b

.
2 f
2
3
2
1 i
1 i i i
i 1 i
h r 4
1
r r k 4
) r r (
U
1
.
Resistance of firebrick layer:
725 . 0 6 . 0 31 . 0 4
6 . 0 725 . 0
r r k 4
r r
R
2 1 1
1 2
1
=0.07376 K/W.
Resistance of magnesia layer:
765 . 0 725 . 0 05 . 0 4
725 . 0 765 . 0
r r k 4
r r
R
3 2 2
2 3
2
=0.11478 K/W.
Resistance of air layer on outside surface:
10 765 . 0 4
1
h r 4
1
R
2
2 f
2
3
=0.0136 K/W.
Therefore, 2021 . 0 0136 . 0 11478 . 0 07376 . 0 R R R
U
1
2 1
K/W.
U=1/0.2021=4.948 W/K. U=4.948 W/K
Rate of heat loss per unit length of pipe, ) 800 20 ( 948 . 4 ) T T ( U Q
1 b

=3859
Q

3859 W.

Rate of heat loss from the oven=3.86 kW.