The role of conduction and surface radiation on laminar free convection heat transfer from a heated vertical flat plate has been studied. Steady state experiments have been conducted on vertical flat plates, of different thermal conductivities and surface emissivities, with an embedded heater and the results have been reported in [1]. The plate dimensions were held fixed in all the experiments. An effort is made here to identify important parameters that are involved in wall conduction - free convection - radiation interaction phenomena. The convective heat transfer from a vertical surface is affected by the surface temperature of the plate and its variations which is influenced by two other modes of heat transfer, conduction within the plate and surface radiation. Hence, the present paper attempts to understand the interaction phenomenon between the three modes of heat transfer and explain the temperature distributions within the plate, observed both experimentally and in numerical simulations. It is found that radiation is very important as it significantly affects the temperature distribution along the plate.

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