Abstract

Laminar natural convection in Bingham plastic fluids has been investigated from two differentially heated cylinders arranged either one above the other or along the diagonal of the square enclosure. The coupled momentum and energy equations have been solved to elucidate the effect of Rayleigh number (104–106), Prandtl number (10–100), Bingham number (0.01 to Bnmax), and the gap between the two cylinders in terms of the geometric parameters (0 to −0.25 for vertical alignment and 0.15 to 0.35 for diagonal alignment) on the detailed structure of the flow field and the overall heat transfer characteristics of the system. New extensive results are visualized in terms of streamlines, isotherm contours, and variation of the local Nusselt number along various surfaces. Additional insights are developed by examining the shear-rate contours and the yield surfaces delineating the fluid-like and solid-like regions in the flow domain. At high values of the Bingham number, the average Nusselt number reaches its asymptotic value corresponding to the conduction limit. The increasing Rayleigh number promotes fluid-like behavior which promotes heat transfer. The augmentation in heat transfer depends on the volume of fluid participating in the buoyancy-induced flow. For the vertical arrangement, the average Nusselt number (for the heated cylinder) decreases a little as these are moved slightly away from the center of the enclosure, followed by an increase as the two cylinders approach one of the sidewalls; this is so even in the conduction limit. In contrast, when the two cylinders are arranged along the diagonal, the Nusselt number progressively decreases as the gap between the two cylinders increases. Finally, predictive correlations have been developed for the average Nusselt number and the limiting Bingham number thereby enabling their estimation in a new application.

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