Nanofluids are engineered colloids composed of nano-size particles dispersed in common fluids such as water or refrigerants. Using an electrically controlled wire heater, pool boiling Critical Heat Flux (CHF) of Alumina and Silica water-based nanofluids of concentration less than or equal to 0.1 percent by volume were measured. Silica nanofluids showed a CHF enhancement up to 68% and there seems to be a monotonic relationship between the nanoparticle concentration and the magnitude of enhancement. Alumina nanofluids had a CHF enhancement up to 56% but the peak occurred at the intermediate concentration. The boiling curves in nanofluid were found to shift to the left of that of water and correspond to higher nucleate boiling heat transfer coefficients in the two-phase flow regime. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images show a porous coating layer of nanoparticles on wires subjected to nanofluid CHF tests. These coating layers change the morphology of the heater’s surface, and are responsible for the CHF enhancement. The thickness of the coating was estimated using SEM and was found ranging from 3.0 to 6.0 micrometers for Alumina, and 3.0 to 15.0 micrometers for Silica.

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