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Analysis of Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop Through Idealized Open Cell Ceramic Foams: Comparison Between Kelvin and Weaire-Phelan Cell Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
N. Bianco, S. Cunsolo, V. Naso, A. Migliozzi, M. Oliviero

Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy

W. K. S. Chiu

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Paper No. HT2013-17234, pp. V004T14A010; 7 pages
  • ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 4: Heat and Mass Transfer Under Extreme Conditions; Environmental Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer; Visualization of Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education and Future Directions in Heat Transfer; Nuclear Energy
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 14–19, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5550-8
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


In the applications of metal foams, the knowledge of the thermal transport properties is of primary importance. Thermal properties of a foam heavily depend on its microstructure. However, the influence of some geometric characteristics of the foam cells on their properties is far from being understood. Foam models are promising tools to study the above said effects. The effect of the cell architecture on heat transfer and pressure drop in open cell foams is investigated numerically using two foam models. The Kelvin and the Weaire-Phelan foam models are developed in an open source software “Surface Evolver”. Heat transfer and pressure drop in samples with different porosities and cell dimensions are studied using COMSOL® Multiphysics. Finally, a comparison between the numerical results obtained from two foam models is carried out in order to evaluate the feasibility to substitute the Weaire-Phelan foam structure, which is more complex and computationally heavier, with the simpler Kelvin foam representation.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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