A study of the onset of transient natural convection from a suddenly heated, horizontal cylinder of finite diameter is presented. The termination of the initial conductive and “locally” conuectiue heat transfer regime which precedes the onset of global natural convection is treated as a thermal stability phenomenon. An analysis is presented wherein the effects of finite cylinder diameter, cylinder heat capacity, and cylinder thermal conductivity are included in calculations of the convective delay time. A simple experimental apparatus is described and data presented. The thermal stability analysis is confirmed experimentally and data is presented which indicates localized natural convection prior to global motion.

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