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Calculation of Thermal Conductivity in Nanofluids From Atomic-Scale Simulations

[+] Author Affiliations
Xuan Wu, Ranganathan Kumar, Parveen Sachdeva

University of Central Florida

Paper No. IMECE2005-80849, pp. 759-765; 7 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Part B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4222-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Nanofluids that consist of nanometer sized particles and fibers dispersed in base liquids have shown the potential to enhance the heat transfer performance. Although three features of nanofluids including anomalously high thermal conductivities at very low nanoparticle concentrations, strongly temperature dependent thermal conductivity and significant increases in critical heat flux have been studied widely, and layering of liquid molecules at the particle-liquid interface, ballistic nature of heat transport in nanoparticles, and nanoparticle clustering are considered as the possible causations responsible for such kind of heat transfer enhancement, few research work from atomic-scale has been done to verify or explain those fascinating features of nanofluids. In this paper, a molecular dynamic model, which incorporates the atomic interactions for silica by BKS potential with a SPC/E model for water, has been established. To ensure the authenticity of our model, the position of each atom in the nanoparticle is derived by the crystallographic method. The interfacial interactions between the nanoparticle and water are simplified as the sum of interaction between many ions. Due to the electrostatic interaction, the ions on the nanoparticle’s surface can attract a certain number of water molecules, therefore, the effect of interaction between the nanoparticle and water on heat transfer enhancement in nanofluids is studied. By using Green-Kubo equations which set a bridge between thermal conductivity and time autocorrelation function of the heat current, a model which may derive thermal conductivity of dilute nanofluids that consist of silica nanoparticles and pure water is built. Several simulation results have been provided which can reveal the possible mechanism of heat enhancement in nanofluids.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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