Sanjib Tiwari

Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Clement C. Tang


Various thermophysical properties, fluid flow parameter and heat transfer characteristics were measured for nanofluid with 6% volume concentration of solid Al2O3 nanoparticles in water. Thermal conductivity measurements showed that there is a definite enhancement in thermal conductivity of the nanofluid compared to that of water. At 7°C, the enhancement was 16% which decreased to 6.96% at 50°C.

The viscosity measurements of the 6% volume concentration Al2O3/water nanofluid showed that its viscosity is higher by a factor of 1.25 to 10.24 than the viscosity of water. Also the measurements of the viscosity of different volume concentration of Al2O3/water nanofluid showed that, the viscosity decreases as the volume concentration decreases. The plot between the shear stress and strain rate for the 6% volume concentration Al2O3/water nanofluid showed that it is a Newtonian fluid for the range of strain rate between 6-122 s−1. Several readings of viscosity were taken by subjecting the nanofluid to heating and cooling cycle. It was found that above 62.65°C, the 6% volume concentration Al2O3/water nanofluid experiences an irrecoverable increase in viscosity and when cooled from beyond this temperature, a hysteresis effect on the viscosity is seen.

The friction factor results for laminar flow for the 6% volume concentration Al2O3/water nanofluid showed that it matches the value given by the Hagen-Poiseulle equation (f = 64/Re). The transition from laminar flow to turbulent was found to occur at a Reynolds number of approximately 1500.

The convective heat transfer results were in agreement with that proposed by the Lienhard correlation (Lienhard and Lienhard, 2008). For fully developed laminar flow, the Nusselt number under constant heat flux condition was found to be within ±7% of 4.36. In the laminar flow regime, the Nusselt numbers for thermally developing flow were within ±10% of the value calculated from the Lienhard correlation.