Heat transfer measurements were made in two rotating cavity rigs, in which cooling air passed axially through the center of the disks, for a wide range of flow rates, rotational speeds, and temperature distributions. For the case of a symmetrically heated cavity (in which both disks have the same temperature distribution), it was found that the distributions of local Nusselt numbers were similar for both disks and the effects of radiation were negligible. For an asymmetrically heated cavity (in which one disk is hotter than the other), the Nusselt numbers on the hotter disk were similar to those in the symmetrically heated cavity but greater in magnitude than those on the colder disks; for this case, radiation from the hot to the cold disk was the same magnitude as the convective heat transfer. Although the two rigs had different gap ratios (G = 0.138 and 0.267), and one rig contained a central drive shaft, there was little difference between the measured Nusselt numbers. For the case of “increasing temperature distribution” (where the temperature of the disks increases radially), the local Nusselt numbers increase radially; for a “decreasing temperature distribution,” the Nusselt numbers decrease radially and become negative at the outer radii. For the increasing temperature case, a simple correlation was obtained between the local Nusselt numbers and the local Grashof numbers and the axial Reynolds number.

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