Date of Award:

7-2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Heng Ban

Abstract

Nanofluids consist of nanometer-sized particles or fibers in colloidal suspension within a host fluid. They have been studied extensively since their creation due to their often times anomalous and unique thermal transport characteristics. They have also proven to be quite valuable in terms of the scientific knowledge gained from their study and their nearly unlimited industrial and commercial applications. This research has expanded the science of nanofluids into a previously unexplored field, that of cryogenic nanofluids. Cryogenic nanofluids are similar to traditional nanofluids in that they utilize nanometer-sized inclusion particles; however, they use cryogenic fluids as their host liquids. Cryogenic nanofluids are of great interest due to the fact that they combine the extreme temperatures inherent to cryogenics with the customizable thermal transport properties of nanofluids, thus creating the potential for next generation cryogenic fluids with enhanced thermophysical properties. This research demonstrates that by combining liquid oxygen (LOX) with Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT) inclusion particles, effective thermal conductivity enhancements of greater than 30% are possible with nanoparticle volume fractions below 0.1%. Three distinct cryogenic nanofluids were created for the purposes of this research, each of which varied by inclusion particle type. The MWCNT's used in this research varied in a number of physical characteristics, the most obvious of which are length and diameter. Lengths vary from 0.5 to 90 microns and diameters from 8 to 40 nanometers. The effective thermal conductivity of the various cryogenic nanofluids created for this research were experimentally determined by a custom made Transient Hot Wire (THW) system, and compared to each other and to more traditional nanofluids as they vary by type and particle volume fraction. This work also details the extensive theoretical, experimental, and numerical aspects of this research, including a rather detailed literature review of many of the salient sciences involved in the study of cryogenic nanofluids. Finally, a selection of the leading theories, models, and predictive equations is presented along with a review of some of the potential future work in the newly budding field of cryogenic nanofluids.

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Engineering Commons

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