Experiments and computations are presented to quantify the convective heat transfer and the hydraulic loss that is obtained by forcing water through blocks of graphitic foam (GF) heated from one side. Experiments have been conducted in a small-scale water tunnel instrumented to measure the pressure drop and the temperature rise of water passing through the foam and the base temperature and heat flux into the foam block. The experimental data were then used to calibrate a thermal non-equilibrium finite-volume model to facilitate comparisons between GF and aluminum foam. Comparisons of the pressure drop indicate that both normal and compressed aluminum foams are significantly more permeable than GF. Results of the heat transfer indicate that the maximum possible heat dissipation from a given surface is reached using very thin layers of aluminum foam due to the inability of the foam to entrain heat into its internal structure. In contrast, graphitic foam is able to entrain heat deep into the foam structure due to its high extended surface efficiency and thus much more heat can be transferred from a given surface area. The higher extended surface efficiency is mainly due to the combination of moderate porosity and higher solid-phase conductivity.
Forced Convection Heat Transfer and Hydraulic Losses in Graphitic Foam
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Straatman, A. G., Gallego, N. C., Yu, Q., Betchen, L., and Thompson, B. E. (December 1, 2006). "Forced Convection Heat Transfer and Hydraulic Losses in Graphitic Foam." ASME. J. Heat Transfer. September 2007; 129(9): 1237–1245. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2739621
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