A thermographic technique is presented that allows visual determination of both qualitative and quantitative heat transfer and fluid flow information to be obtained on heated objects placed in forced convection environments. The technique employs cholesteric liquid crystals as the temperature sensing agent. The liquid crystals indicate temperature by exhibiting brilliant changes in color over discrete, reproducible temperature ranges. The technique has been used to quickly and easily obtain information on the variation of the Nusselt number on a right circular cylinder placed in a crossflow of air. In addition to yielding precise quantitative heat transfer information, the liquid crystal thermographic technique afforded the opportunity to visually observe the effects of flow separation, the separation bubble region, the turbulent boundary layer, and the turbulent wake on the surface temperature of the heated cylinder. The experimental results obtained using the liquid crystal thermographic technique are in close agreement with results obtained by other investigators who have used standard measuring techniques.

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