An experimental investigation of laminar natural convection heat transfer from a uniformly heated vertical cylinder immersed in an effectively infinite pool of mercury is described. A correlation was developed for the local Nusselt number as a function of local modified Grashof number for each cylinder. A single equation incorporating the diameter-to-length ratio was formulated that satisfied the data for all three cylinders. An expression derived by extrapolation of the results to zero curvature (the flat plate condition) was found to agree favorably with others’ work, both analytical and experimental. The influence of curvature upon the heat transfer was found to be small but significant. It was established that the effective thermal resistance through the boundary layer is less for a cylinder of finite curvature than for a flat plate. Consequently, local heat transfer coefficients for cylinders are larger than those for flat plates operating under identical conditions.

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