Convective heat transfer from a fluid to a surface is an approximately linear function of driving temperature if the properties within the boundary layer are approximately constant. However, in environments with large driving temperatures like those seen in the hot sections of gas turbine engines, significant property variations exist within the boundary layer. In addition, radiative heat transfer can be a significant contributor to the total heat transfer in a high-temperature environment such that it can not be neglected. As a result, heat transfer to the surface becomes a nonlinear function of driving temperature and the conventional linear heat flux assumption cannot be employed to characterize the convective heat transfer. The present study experimentally examines the nonlinearity of convective heat flux on a zero-pressure-gradient flat plate with large freestream to wall-temperature differences. In addition, the need to account for the radiative component of the overall heat transfer is highlighted. Finally, a method to account for the effects of both variable properties and radiation simultaneously is proposed and demonstrated. Overall, the proposed technique provides the means to quantify the independent contributions of radiative and variable property convective heat transfer to the total conductive heat transfer to or from a surface in a single experiment.

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