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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhmt

Flow and heat transfer characteristics of nanouid owing through


metal foams
Huijin Xu, Liang Gong , Shanbo Huang, Minghai Xu
College of Pipeline and Civil Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 4 April 2014
Received in revised form 27 November 2014
Accepted 5 December 2014
Available online 29 December 2014
Keywords:
Nanouid
Metal foam
Local thermal non-equilibrium
Heat transfer enhancement

a b s t r a c t
Forced convective heat transfer of uid (with nanoparticles) in metal-foam duct is numerically investigated and the velocity and temperature elds are obtained. The effects of some key parameters on ow
and heat transfer of nanouid in porous media are analyzed. For nanouid in porous media, the feasibility
of eld synergy principle on convective heat transfer is examined and the mechanisms for related heat
transfer enhancement are discussed. Results show that both pressure drop and Nu number for nanouid
in metal foams increase with an increase in volume fraction of nanoparticles. But the increasing
amplitude of pressure drop increases while the increasing amplitude of Nu number decreases, which
implies that heat transfer enhancement with nanouid cannot offset pressure drop increase. Field
synergy principle for pure uid convection cannot guide the analysis of the heat transfer enhancement
for nanouid in metal foams, which calls for the modication of existing eld synergy principle.
2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Many basic methods are provided for heat transfer enhancement, such as decreasing thermal boundary layer thickness,
increasing velocity gradient near heat-transfer wall, disrupting
uid ow, increasing velocity from laminar ow to turbulent ow,
increasing extending surface of heated wall and changing physical
properties of surface and uid [15]. These theories have been, are
being and will be used in every aspect in thermal engineering. Taking heat dissipation of electronics as an example, with rapid
increase in heat ux and minimization of device volume, related
thermal performance is being improved from air cooling to liquid
cooling, from passive cooling to active cooling, from large-scale
to mini/micro-scale, and from single-phase to two-phase cooling.
Highly-efcient heat transfer enhancement techniques are
urgently needed in engineering. For the modern heat exchangers,
density of extending surface area on the heat transfer wall is in
the rising trend [6]. Open-celled metal foam is a kind of materials
with sufciently-large surface area density (5007500 m2 m3 [7])
and it is usually sintered on the solid-wall. Additionally, it owns
other thermal advantages, such as high solid thermal conductivity,
strong ow-mixing capability, high porosity and low-density,
which makes it useful in compact heat exchangers and heat sinks,
chemical reformers, solar collectors, and efcient combustor [79].
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: lgong@upc.edu.cn (L. Gong).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2014.12.024
0017-9310/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Growing attention has been paid on the metal foams in both scientic research and industrial applications. Recent applications
include micro-channel condensers with metal-foam in the air side
[1012], at-plate solar water collector with metal-foam block
[13], nned metal-foam heat sinks [14], metal-foam catalyst support [15,16], and so on. The main scientic problem in these applications is related with transport phenomena in metal foams.
Previous transport models of conventional porous media, such as
packed bed, granular media and rocks, are no longer applicable for
metal foams due to the structure and porosity difference between
the conventional porous media (0.1 < e < 0.6) and metal foams
(e > 0.85). For ow in metal foams, Darcy model, Brinkman model
or Forchheimer model may be used for specic velocity range and
viscous effect of impermeable wall [8]. For heat transfer in metal
foams, the local thermal equilibrium (LTE) model or the local thermal non-equilibrium (LTNE) model may be used in principle. However, the foam solid materials covering copper, aluminum, nickel,
iron and their alloys, own the thermal conductivity range about
10400 W/(m K) while thermal conductivities of the conventional
working uids, water and air, are respectively about 0.026 and
0.6 W/(m K), from which the thermal conductivity difference
between solid and uid is from about 1715,384 times. For the
metal-foam fully lled duct, as a more accurate model, the LTNE
model must be used according to Lee and Vafai [17]. While for the
duct partially lled with metal foams [3,4], due to relatively low
velocity in the foam region, the temperature difference between
solid and uid phases is minimal and the LTE model may be

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H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

Nomenclature
asf
c
CI
Da
E
f
H
h
hsf
K
k
kd
kf
knfe
ks
kse
L
Nu
p
P
PEC
Pr
qw
Re
T
T fin
u

specic surface area, m1


1
specic heat, J kg K1
inertial constant
Darcy number
dimensionless factor in appendix (ke kd =kse )
friction factor (dp=dx  4H=qu2in )
half height of the channel, m
heat-transfer coefcient, W m2 K1
local convective heat-transfer coefcient, W m2 K1
permeability, m2
thermal conductivity, W m1 K1
dispersion thermal conductivity, W m1 K1
uid thermal conductivity, W m1 K1
effective thermal conductivity of nanouid, W m1 K1
solid thermal conductivity, W m1 K1
effective thermal conductivity of solid, W m1 K1
channel length, m
Nusselt number
pressure, N m2
dimensionless pressure drop
1=3
performance evaluation criteria (Nu=Re  Pr  f )
Prandtl number
wall heat ux, W m2
Reynolds number (Re q  uin  4H=l)
temperature, K
uid inlet temperature, K
velocity at x axis, m s1

employed. Related research on convective heat transfer has been


implemented to some extent [8,1820]. Xu et al. [8] theoretically
investigated forced convective heat transfer in metal-foam lled
parallel-plate channel and provided the ranges of foam parameters
for saving energy. Lu et al. [18] presented convection heat transfer in
metal foams in theory by treating the micro-structure of metal foam
as the cubic cylinders perpendicular with each other and found that
the thermal performance of metal foams is attractive even though
with simplied model. Lu et al. [19] conducted analytical study on
forced convection in metal-foam tubes and pointed out that metal
foams have great thermal potential. Zhao et al. [20] conducted analytical study on forced convection in metal-foam annuli and found
that the metal-foam double-pipe heat exchanger own more excellent thermal performance compared with the conventional nned
tubular heat exchangers.
Even with attractive thermal performance for metal foams, heat
transfer in metal foams still needs further enhancement by other
assistant methods in some electronics and heat exchangers with
high heat transfer rate. Adding nanoparticles into uid, which
can improve the uid thermal conductivity, is such a direct
method. Nanoparticle based coolant (nanouid) was rst proposed
by Choi et al. [21] in Argonne National Laboratory of USA in the
middle 90s of last Century, after which many investigators
performed various studies on this area. Lazarus Godson et al. [22]
presented the experimental study on the convective heat transfer
of silver-water nanouid in counter-ow heat exchanger from
laminar to turbulent regime. Li and Xuan [23] experimentally
investigated forced convection of Cu-water nanouid in a tube
and presented empirical correlations for laminar and turbulent
ow. Bhadauria and Agarwal [24] presented the analytical and
numerical study on linear and non-linear stability of nanouid
ow and heat transfer in porous media. Dalkilic et al. [25] reviewed
the recent publications from 2003 to 2012 on forced convection of

v
uin
U
V
VOL
x

velocity at y axis, m s1


inlet velocity, m s1
dimensionless x velocity
dimensionless y velocity
dimensionless volume
axial position, m

Greek symbols
c
synergy angle, degree
e
porosity
h
dimensionless temperature
l
dynamic viscosity, kg m1 s1
q
density, kg m3
/
volume fraction
x
pore density, PPI (pores per inch)
Subscripts
b
bulk
d
dispersion
e
effective
f
uid
mf
metal foam
nf
nanouid
np
nanoparticle
ref
reference
s
solid

nanouid in terms of empirical correlations, research methods and


uid mechanics and indicated that the experimental data for nanouids of nanoparticles within refrigerants is absent due to the difculty in establishing the pressurized test rig. They held that main
reasons for heat transfer enhancement of nanouid are the
increase in thermal conductivity and chaotic movement of
nanoparticles. Xuan and Roetzel [26] classied recent theoretical
models of nanouid into two types: (a) treating nanoparticle and
base-uid as a single-phase ow; (b) treating the nanoparticle
and the base-uid as two different phases. Choi [27] pointed out
that the heat transfer enhancement effect of nanouid is more
obvious compared with other enhancing techniques, but the
understanding for transport mechanisms of nanouid is still poor.
Aiming at combining the ow-mixing capability of 3-D metal
foams with the obvious improvement in uid thermal conductivity
of the ultrane particles, this paper presents a numerical analysis
on the forced convective heat transfer of nanouid in metal-foam
channels with the LTNE model, which can be used in the cooling
of high heat ux electronics with large temperature difference heat
exchangers. The effects of porosity, pore density and volume fraction on the overall heat transfer are analyzed. Effects of nanouid
and metal foam on enhancing convective heat transfer are discussed and the evaluation possibility of eld synergy principle on
this kind of dual heat transfer enhancement is explored.

2. Problem description
The schematic diagram of metal-foam channel for nanouid
forced convection is shown in Fig. 1(a) and the practical structure
of metal foam (copper) is shown Fig. 1(b). The channel height is 2H
and channel length is L. Constant heat ux qw is imposed on the
channel wall, which is dissipated with metal foams. The ultrane

401

H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

qw

uin
Tfin o

qnf
l
l
qnf C I
juj  u
u  ru rP nf r2 u  nf u  p
e2
e
K
K

1a

0 kse r2 T s  hsf asf T s  T f

1b

qcp nf u  rT f  knfe kd r2 T f hsf asf T s  T f

1c

The corresponding boundary conditions for Fig. 1 are

@v
0;
@x

x 0 : u uin ;

Metal foam

qw
L

@T s
0
@x

T f T fin ;

2a

xL:

@u @ v @T f @T s

0
@x @x
@x
@x

2b

y0:

@u
0;
@y

2c

v 0;

y H : u v 0;

@T f @T s

0
@y
@y

knfe kd

@T f
@T s
kse
qw ;
@y
@y

Tf Ts

Tw

(a) nanofluid channel with metal foams

2d

With the above Eqs. (1a)(1c), (2a)(2d), macroscopic ow and heat


transfer performances of nanouid in metal-foam channel are
numerically investigated by using the thermo-physical properties
of nanouid. Integrated values for density, dynamic viscosity,
thermal conductivity and product of density and isobaric heat
capacity of nanouid can be respectively correlated with the
following formulas [2830].

qnf 1  /qf /qnp

lnf

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of nanouid channel with metal foams and the metalfoam structure.

particles are in the nanoscale, which cannot be seen by our eyes.


The nanouid (uid with nanoparticles) with inlet velocity uin
and inlet temperature Tn, ows through the channel, absorbing
heat imposed on the wall. The metal foam is assumed as isotropic
and homogeneous. Flow in metal foam is in the laminar regime.
Thermal radiation in the condition of low-temperature convection
is neglected since the metal foam is large optically thickness with a
short radiation transport mean free path [16].
The momentum equation is established with the Forchheimer
model considering the quadratic term. For energy equation, LTE
model or LTNE model may be used and in this paper the LTNE
model is used for modeling the energy equations, which treats
the temperature of solid phase and that of the uid phase as different. For ow and heat transfer, the governing equations of mass,
momentum and energy conservations are

lf

3b

1  /2:5
knp 2kf  2/kf  knp
kf
knp 2kf /kf  knp

3c

qcp nf 1  /qf cpf /qnp cnp

3d

knf

(b) metal-foam structure

3a

Values for specic parameters in metal foams, such as permeability


K, inertial constant CI, nanouid effective thermal conductivity knfe,
solid effective thermal conductivity kse, dispersion thermal conductivity kd, local convective heat transfer coefcient hsf and surface
area density asf, can be found in Xu et al. [8] and Dai et al. [31].
These empirical parameters are obtained based on two basic
morphology parameters for metal foam: porosity and pore density.
And the metal foams considered for the parametric study are
consistent with the commercially available foams. The governing
equations can be normalized with the following qualities

X
hfs

x
y
u
; Y ; U
;
H
H
uin
T fs  T fin

;
qw H=kf

Da

K
H

Re

v
uin

qf u2in

l cp;f
qf  uin  4H
hsf asf H2
; Pr f
; Nusf
lf
kf
kf

The dimensionless governing equations are shown as follows

@U
@U
q @P lnf =lf 4e @ 2 U @ 2 U
U
V
e2 f

@X
@Y
qnf @X qnf =qf Re @X 2 @Y 2


lnf =lf 4e2


e2 C I
UjU
U  p j~
qnf =qf Da  Re
Da

5a

H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

@V
@V
q @P lnf =lf 4e @ 2 V @ 2 V
U
V
e2 f

@X
@Y
qnf @Y qnf =qf Re @X 2 @Y 2


@ 2 hs
@X

@ 2 hs
@Y 2

!
1.0

lnf =lf 4e2


e2 C I ~
V  p jUjV
qnf =qf Da  Re
Da

 Nusf

kf
hs  hf
kse

0.6

5c

@hf
@hf knfe kd qf cp;f
4
@ 2 hf @ 2 hf
V




@X
@Y
kf
qcp nf Re  Pr @X 2 @Y 2

0.4

5d
0.0
-1.0

The dimensionless boundary conditions are

X 0 : U 1;

hf 0;

H=0.01 m
Re=1500
=0.9
=10 PPI
=0

0.2

4Nusf qf cp;f

hs  hf
Re  Pr qcp nf

@V
0;
@X

Analytical (Brinkman)[8]
Numerical (Brinkman)
Numerical (Forchheimer)

0.8

5b

402

@h
0
@X

-0.5

0.0

0.5

1.0

6a

Fig. 2. Dimensionless velocity distribution.

@U @V @hf @hs
X L=H :

0
@X @X @X
@X

6b

@U
Y0:
0;
@Y

6c

V 0;

Y 1 : U V 0;

@hf @hs

0
@Y
@Y

kfe kd @hf kse @hs

1;
kf
@Y
kf @Y

hf hs

6d

Normalized governing equations from Eqs. (5a) and (5b) and the
related closure conditions Eqs. (6a)(6d) are numerically solved
with the SIMPLER algorithm [32]. The governing equations can be
treated as convergent when the relative error for pressure drop
and Nu are less than 107. Water is selected as the base uid for
nanoparticles. The density, specic heat capacity at constant pressure, thermal conductivity and dynamic viscosity are referred from
the corresponding values of water at 1 atm and 20 C [33]. Foam
morphology parameters fall into the ranges 0.80.95 for porosity
and 560 PPI for pore density. The ratio between axial length of
the channel and the half height is L/H = 10. In the numerical simulation, uid with Al2O3 nanoparticles is used as the working uid.
The values of the above parameters are summarized in Table 1.
Non-uniform grid is employed with ne grid near the heated wall
and the grid-independent solution can be obtained for the grid density 152  62 with both the relative deviations of pressure drop and
Nu less than 0.1% for a denser grid system.

simulation is derived from the fully-developed region of ow eld.


It can be found that the velocity in present numerical solution with
Brinkman model is in accordance with analytical solution in Xu
et al. [8], from which the feasibility of the present numerical
method can be guaranteed. It can also be found that the velocity
eld with Forchheimer model is more homogeneous than the
Brinkman model, which is due to the inertial term in Forchheimer
model for the ow resistance.
It can be expected that the pressure drop of pure uid owing
through metal foams depends on several parameters, such as the
duct scale, porosity, pore density, frontal velocity and uid
thermo-physical properties. While that for nanouid depends on
nanoparticle thermo-physical properties, volume fraction of suspended particles and all the factors above. Pressure drop functions
for this two cases are in the form of Eqs. (7a) and (7b).

dp=dxmf f H; e; x; uin ; qf ; lf

7a

dp=dxmf;nf f H; e; x; uin ; qf ; lf ; qnp ; /

7b

Thus, for the nanouid owing through metal foams, the nanoparticle volume fraction is a most important parameter, the effect of
which on pressure drop is shown in Fig. 3. As can be seen, with
the increase in volume fraction, the pressure drop per unit length
gradually increases and the increasing amplitude for pressure drop

3. Flow and heat transfer results

1600

Fig. 2 presents velocity distribution for Brinkman model and


Forchheimer model. The velocity prole of the present numerical

1400
1200

Parameters

Value

Unit

qf

998.21
4184.1

kg m3

cf

1

J kg K1
kg m1 s1

kf

1.0016  103
0.59846

qnp

3970

cnp

765

J kg

knp

400

W m1 K1
C
1
PPI pores per inch
1

lf

T ref

e
x
L=H

20
0.80.98
560
10

W m1 K1
kg m3
1

dp/dx (Pa/m)

Table 1
Values of important parameters in the numerical simulation.

H=0.01 m
Re=1000
=0.9
=10 PPI

1000
800

Al2O3 Particle
TiO3 Particle

600

K1

400

0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15

0.20

Fig. 3. The effect of nanoparticle volume fraction on the overall pressure drop.

403

H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

(a) fluid

(b) solid
Fig. 4. Dimensionless temperature distribution for uid and solid phases.

2000

hmf f H; e; x; uin ; kf ; ks

8a

hmf;nf f H; e; x; uin ; kf ; ks ; knp ; /

8b

=0.9
=10 PPI

1500

=0
=0.05
=0.10
=0.20

H =0.01
Re=1000
ks=400 W/(m K)

Nu

also increases. This is attributed to that the dynamic viscosity and


the density of nanouid are increased sharply with the increase in
volume fraction.
Fig. 4 shows dimensionless temperatures of solid and uid for
porosity 0.98. It can be seen that the solid temperature is slightly
higher than the uid temperature. In this case (the foam solid thermal conductivity ks = 400 W/(m K)), the uid thermal conductivity
is 0.59846 W/(m K) and the nanoparticle thermal conductivity is
40 W/(m K), from which the integrated thermal conductivity of
the nanouid is 1.026 W/(m K). Thus, by using highly-conductive
nanoparticles, the thermal conductivity of working uid is obviously increased. In addition, the outlet temperature of uid and
that of solid are both in the fully-developed condition from
Fig. 4(a) and (b).
Similarly, for steady-state heat transfer, the convection heat
transfer coefcient (HTC) of pure uid in metal-foam duct is the
function of channel scale, foam morphology (porosity and pore
density), frontal velocity, uid thermo-physical properties, and
foam solid thermal conductivity. While for the nanouid, corresponding HTC is the function of channel scale, foam morphology
(porosity and pore density), frontal velocity, uid thermo-physical
properties, foam solid thermal conductivity, nanoparticle thermal
conductivity and volume fraction.

1000

500
1

10

X
Fig. 5. The effect of nanoparticle volume fraction on local Nu number along axial
direction.

In the following, the effects of key parameters on the heat transfer


performance of nanouid forced convection in metal foams are presented and discussed.
Fig. 5 shows the effect of volume fraction of nanoparticles on
the local Nusselt number along the axial direction for different volume fractions. It can be observed that the local Nu along the axial

H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

direction gradually decreases due to the entrance effect being


weakened. With the xed axial position, the local Nu is larger for
a higher volume fraction. For the xed parameters in Fig. 5, the
local Nu number is above 600, which is much higher than the analytical value 8.235 [34] for foam-free channel with pure uid.
When the dimensionless axial position is greater than 7 (X > 7),
the NuX curve is approximately parallel to the horizontal axis,
which means that the convective heat transfer in this range is in
the fully-developed region. Therefore, the entrance length of
metal-foam channel is not as high as that of foam-free channel,
which is attributed to the strong ow-mixing capability of metal
foam. Generally, the role of entrance effect is always included in
heat exchangers and the metal-foam heat exchangers cannot be
very long due to very high pressure loss in metal foams. Thus, all
the thermal analyses include the entrance effect in this paper,
which is convenient for thermal design of metal-foam heat
exchangers.
The effects of metal-foam morphology parameters (porosity
and pore density) on nanouid heat transfer in metal foams are
shown in Fig. 6(a) and (b). It can be clearly seen that Nu of nanouid can be increased by either decreasing porosity or increasing
pore density, which agrees well with the tendency shown Xu
et al. [8]. From Fig. 6(a) and (b), with the same foam morphology

2000
H=0.01 m
Re=1000
=10 PPI
ks=400 W/(m K)

Nu

1500

1000

=0
=0.10

500

0.80

0.85

0.90

0.95

900

with both kd and CI


with kd but without CI

850

with CI but without kd


exclude kd and CI

800
750

Nu

404

H =0.01 m

700
650

=10 PPI
=0.9

600

=0.1

ks=400 W/(m K)

500

1000

1500

2000

Re
Fig. 7. The effect of Re on heat transfer with different conditions.

parameters, the increase in volume fraction of nanoparticles can


lead to the heat transfer enhancement that is not very strong. However, in high-heat-ux applications [35], even a little heat transfer
augmentation means great signicance for heat dissipation and
thermo-safety.
The effect of Re number on the heat transfer of nanouid is
shown in Fig. 7, including the effects of thermal dispersion and
inertial term. As Re number increases, Nu number of nanouid
gradually increases due to the intensive local convective heat
transfer between solid and uid, which is not consistent with the
NuRe relationship in foam-free channels with pure uid in laminar regime. This is due to the increase in Reynolds number can
enhance the local convective heat transfer between solid and uid
phases. In addition, with the xed Reynolds number, the model
with both thermal dispersion and inertial term owns the highest
Nu number and that excluding thermal dispersion and inertial
term can provide the lowest Nu number. Between the two, the
model with thermal dispersion but without inertial term own
higher Nu number than that with inertial term but without thermal dispersion, which implies that the effect of thermal dispersion
on heat transfer is greater than that of inertial term. This is because
the base uid is water and thermal dispersion in water is very
obvious [36].

(a) porosity
730

with Al2O3 Nanoparticles

800

with TiO3 Nanoparticles

700

720

H =0.01 m
Re =1000
=0.9
ks=400 W/(m K)

Nu

Nu

=0
=0.2

H=0.01 m
Re=1000
=0.9
=10 PPI
ks=400 W/(m K)

710

600
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

(PPI)

(b) pore density


Fig. 6. The effect of metal-foam morphology parameters on heat transfer.

700
0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15

Fig. 8. The effect of nanoparticle volume fraction on heat transfer.

0.20

405

H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

0.30

H=0.01 m
=10 PPI
ks=400 W/(m K)

0.25

=0.85
=0.95

0.15

0.10

0.05
0

Nu

103

LTE model
LTNE model

Wolfram
Aluminum
Brass
Nickel

Copper
Sliver

Stannum
102

100

101

ks

102

Fig. 9. The comparison between LTE model and LTNE model.

103

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

Pumping power (W)


Fig. 10. Integrated heat transfer performance evaluation criteria as a function of
pumping power.

addition, with a xed pumping power, the PEC for porosity 0.85
is much higher than that for porosity 0.95.
4. Mechanisms for heat transfer enhancement of nanouid in
porous foam
What eld synergy principle reveals is the effect of ow on convective heat transfer. Rather than directing the practical simulation
process, eld synergy principle is a theory based on existing result,
i.e., it is a result rather than an inducement. Nevertheless, this principle has been employed for heat exchanger design, leading to
many successful heat transfer surfaces. It tends to develop unique
structures for generating vortexes or disturbing the boundary layer
to improve the synergy between velocity and temperature gradient
for convective heat transfer. The synergy angle is a vital parameter
for synergy principle, dened as the intersection angle between the
velocity vector and the uid temperature gradient.

cosc

~  rhf j
j~
jU
u  rT f j

~
~
juj  jrT f j jUj  jrhf j

cm arccos

H=0.01 m
Re=1500
=0.9
=10 PPI
=0.05

=0.20

0.20

PEC

Fig. 8 shows the effect of nanoparticle volume fraction on heat


transfer for two different nanoparticles (Al2O3 and TiO3). As the
nanoparticle volume fraction increases, Nu number gradually
increases but the increasing amplitude is reduced. This is attributed to that the thermal conductivity increasing amplitude is
decreased with an increase in nanoparticle volume fraction. Due
to thermal conductivity of Al2O3 is higher than that of TiO3, Nu
number of Al2O3 is higher than that of TiO3 as shown in Fig. 8. From
Fig. 8, the maximum heat transfer augmentation of nanouid is
about 3.8% for Al2O3 and 3.0% for TiO3, which is very useful for further improving thermal performance of metal-foam heat exchangers and heat sinks, especially for high-heat-ux applications. In
addition, from Eqs. (3a)(3d), with an increase in volume fraction
of nanoparticles, the viscosity and density of nanouid increases
sharply, but the corresponding increasing rate of nanouid thermal
conductivity is not so much. Therefore, it can be seen from Figs. 3
and 8 that the heat transfer augmentation cannot offset the pressure drop increase for nanouid owing through metal foams.
Fig. 9 presents the comparison between LTE and LTNE models
with Nu as a function of foam solid thermal conductivity for the
xed uid thermophysical properties. It can be seen that the difference between LTE model and LTNE model is mild when foam solid
thermal conductivity is low. As solid thermal conductivity
increases, this difference is enlarged. From Fig. 5, when the solid
thermal conductivity increases, thermal resistance of solid phase
is decreased but the thermal resistance of local convective heat
transfer represented by the parameter Nusf in Eq. (4), is kept constant, which indirectly increase the proportion of local convective
thermal resistance over the total thermal resistance. Therefore,
the difference between LTE and LTNE results is enlarged when the
solid thermal conductivity is increased. When the solid thermal
conductivity is very low, the solid thermal resistance is very large
and the proportion of local convective thermal resistance over the
total thermal resistance can be neglected. In this condition, the heat
transfer results of LTE model and that of the LTNE model are almost
the same. This implies that the LTNE effect in porous media is more
obvious with the increased solid thermal conductivity.
Fig. 10 shows the integrated performance evaluation criteria
(PEC) including the ow and heat transfer as a function of pumping
power for two different porosities. It can be seen from this gure
that PEC sharply decreases for the small pumping power and the
gradient of PEC gradually approaches 0, as the pumping power
increases. This means that the pumping power should be as low
as possible from the viewpoint of maintaining higher PEC. In

R

coscdVOL
VOL

9a


9b

To achieve good synergy between velocity and temperature gradient, the synergy angle should not be close to 90 or 270. The perpendicularity between velocity vector and temperature gradient is
the worst heat transfer case (HTC = 0) while the parallelity between
these two vectors leads to the optimal heat transfer. For the porous
media with high solid thermal conductivity, due to adoption of
LTNE model, two temperatures exists, but only uid temperature
is appropriate for synergy angle. Thus, the case of nanouid owing
through metal foams is very different from that of pure uid in
foam-free channel. Shen and Liu [37] have ever used eld synergy
principle to analyze the convective heat transfer in porous media
under LTE condition, but the relationship between synergy angle
and the heat transfer is not too consistent. The aim of this part is
to analyze the convective heat transfer of nanouid in metal foams
with eld synergy principle and examine whether eld synergy
principle is appropriate for heat transfer enhancement by nanouid
and metal foams.
Fig. 11 shows the synergy angle as a function of pumping power
for two different porosities (0.85 and 0.95). It can be observed that
with the increase in pumping power, the synergy angle sharply

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H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

90

=0.85
=0.95

Synergy angle (degree)

85
80
75
70

H =0.01 m

=10 PPI

ks=400 W/(m K)

65

=0.20

60
55

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

Pumping power (W)


Fig. 11. Synergy angle as a function of pumping power.

Synergy angle (degree)

79

=0
=0.05
=0.10
=0.20

78

77

=0.9
=10 PPI
H =0.01
Re =1000
ks=400 W/(m K)

76

10

20

30

40

5. Conclusions

50

60

(PPI)
Fig. 12. Synergy angle as a function of pore density.

Synergy angle (degree)

78.10

78.05

Al2O3
TiO3

78.00
H=0.01 m
Re=1000
=0.9
=10 PPI
ks=400 W/(m K)

77.95

77.90
0.00

increases for small pumping power and the slope of synergy angle
gradually approaches zero. For a xed pumping power, the synergy
angle for porosity 0.85 is less than that for porosity 0.95. Overall,
the trend of Fig. 11 is in accordance with eld synergy principle.
Fig. 12 shows the effect of pore density on the synergy principle
for four volume fractions of Al2O3 nanoparticles: / = 0, 0.05, 0.1
and 0.2. For the conditions shown in Fig. 12, the minimum synergy
angle for nanouid ow in metal foams is about 75.3. As the pore
density increases, the synergy angle gradually increases and the
effect of pore density on synergy angle is similar with that on Nusselt number (Fig. 6(b)). This is attributed to that when pore density
is large enough, local convective thermal resistance can be
neglected. From eld synergy principle, heat transfer of this conditions is weakened, which is not in accordance with what reveals in
Fig. 6(b) for heat transfer trend in metal foams. Fig. 13 presents the
effect of volume fraction on the synergy angle. As can be seen, as
the volume fraction increases, the synergy angle slightly decreases.
From eld synergy principle, the heat transfer is weakened with
the increase in volume fraction of nanoparticles and again the
trend in Fig. 13 is also not in accordance with what reveals in Fig. 8.
Heat transfer of nanouid is mainly enhanced by the high thermal conductivity of nanoparticles, while heat transfer of metal
foams is mainly inuenced by the heat conductions of solid and
uid and local convective heat transfer between solid and uid.
Usually, for metal foams with high solid thermal conductivities,
the solid conductive thermal resistance is far less than the uid
conductive thermal resistance, which means that majority part of
heat is transferred through solid ligaments. From the contradiction
between Fig. 11 and Figs. 12 and 13, eld synergy principle can
only partly reveal the essence for combined convection and conduction heat transfer of nanouid in porous media. This means
the conventional eld synergy principle for pure uid owing in
non-porous duct needs modication for effectually explaining the
heat transfer enhancement of nanouid in porous media.

Forced convective heat transfer of nanouid in metal foams is


numerically investigated and the effects of various parameters on
thermal performance are analyzed with mechanisms for convective heat transfer enhancement of nanouid in porous foam discussed. The summary is put up below.
(1) Velocity prole of nanouid in metal foam is very uniform
and the LTNE effect of nanouid in metal foam is obvious
when the difference between thermal conductivity of uid
and that of solid is large.
(2) The heat transfer enhancement with nanouid cannot offset
the pressure drop increase, which may be useful in some
high-power electronics calling for strong heat dissipation
ability but regardless of the pumping power. To save the cost
of heat transfer process, future work should be done on the
structure optimization for metal-foam channel and the
micro-mechanism for heat transfer augmentation of
nanouid.
(3) The integrated performance evaluation criteria (PEC)
decreases with the increase in pumping power.
(4) Field synergy principle for convective heat transfer enhancement of pure uid cannot successfully predict the heat
transfer enhancement of nanouid in porous media.
Acknowledgements

0.05

0.10

0.15

0.20

Fig. 13. Synergy angle as a function of the volume fraction of nanoparticles.

This work was supported partly by the National Natural Science


Foundation of China (No. 51206187 and No. 51406238), partly by
the Foundation for Outstanding Young Scientist in Shandong

H. Xu et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 83 (2015) 399407

Province (No. BS2014NJ009) and partly by the Fundamental


Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 14CX02106A and
No. 13CX05023A). Dr. Wenqiang Li is acknowledged for his help
in preparing this paper.

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