RESEARCH PAPERS: Natural Convection

Laminar Natural Convection Flow Over a Vertical Backward-Facing Step

[+] Author and Article Information
H. I. Abu-Mulaweh, B. F. Armaly, T. S. Chen

Department of Mechanical Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO 65401-0249

J. Heat Transfer 117(4), 895-901 (Nov 01, 1995) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836308 History: Received January 01, 1995; Revised July 01, 1995; Online January 23, 2008


Measurements and predictions of laminar boundary-layer air flow in natural convection over a vertical two-dimensional backward-facing step are reported. The upstream and downstream walls and the step itself were heated to a uniform and constant temperature. The experiment was carried out for the ranges of step heights 3.5 mm ≤ s ≤ 9 mm, temperature differences of 5.8°C ≤ ΔT ≤ 23°C between the heated wall and the free stream (corresponding to 2.238 × 107 < Grxi < 8.877 × 107 ), and reference velocities of 0.24 m/s ≤ u* ≤ 0.47 m/s. Laser-Doppler velocimeter and cold-wire anemometer were utilized to measure, respectively, the velocity and the temperature distributions simultaneously. Flow visualization was also performed to determine the reattachment length. Measurements compare favorably with predictions. These results reveal that the step height significantly affects the velocity and temperature distributions, the friction coefficient, and the rate of heat transfer downstream of the backward-facing step.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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