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A Comparison of the Relative Effectiveness of Fin Aspect Ratio Under Natural Convective Heat Transfer With Top Mounted Fins

[+] Author Affiliations
Anthony S. Pruszenski

Textron Defense Systems, Wilmington, MA

Paper No. IMECE2009-12364, pp. 1399-1405; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Mechanical engineers often design fins on metal enclosures to dissipate an internal heat load using natural convection. This paper gives the results of a series of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) studies, and, supporting calculations for the maximum temperature rise on a plate with a constant heat load of 100 watts applied to the bottom of the plate. Vertical fins are formed on the top surface of the plate. In this study, the horizontal dimensions and thickness of a square plate are held constant, while, the aspect ratio of the top surface fins are varied between studies. The aspect ratio is defined as the ratio of the height of the fin to the width of the base of the fin. The study compares aspect ratios from 1:1 to 40:1 with a constant base width. In addition, comparisons between 20:1 aspect ratio fins with the same height but with different fin counts due to changes in fin separation distances are compared. Closely spaced fins are not always the best solution for natural convection.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Convection , Fins



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