RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural Convection

Criteria for Predicting the Transition to Turbulence in Natural Convection Along a Vertical Surface

[+] Author and Article Information
V. L. Vitharana, P. S. Lykoudis

School of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

J. Heat Transfer 116(3), 633-638 (Aug 01, 1994) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910916 History: Received January 01, 1993; Revised September 01, 1993; Online May 23, 2008


This paper evaluates the existing criteria for predicting the transition to turbulence in natural convection adjacent to a vertical surface. We have conducted an experiment that establishes the point of transition in mercury by means of both hot-film anemometry and local heat transfer measurements. These results confirm the claim of Bejan and Lage that the Grashof number correlates transition data better than the Rayleigh number. We have also concluded that the laminar-turbulent transition in liquid metals as well as regular fluids occurs in the vicinity of Grx =109 . Furthermore, we show that the E parameter suggested by Gebhart and his co-workers for predicting the onset of transition, when appropriately modified, yields a criterion that depends on the Grashof number alone.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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