RESEARCH PAPERS: Special Section—Invited Papers on Opportunities in Heat Transfer Applications

Fundamental Issues and Recent Advancements in Analysis of Aircraft Brake Natural Convective Cooling

[+] Author and Article Information
M. P. Dyko

Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation, Akron, OH 44306

K. Vafai

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

J. Heat Transfer 120(4), 840-857 (Nov 01, 1998) (18 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2825903 History: Received June 25, 1998; Online December 05, 2007


A heightened awareness of the importance of natural convective cooling as a driving factor in design and thermal management of aircraft braking systems has emerged in recent years. As a result, increased attention is being devoted to understanding the buoyancy-driven flow and heat transfer occurring within the complex air passageways formed by the wheel and brake components, including the interaction of the internal and external flow fields. Through application of contemporary computational methods in conjunction with thorough experimentation, robust numerical simulations of these three-dimensional processes have been developed and validated. This has provided insight into the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying the flow and yielded the tools necessary for efficient optimization of the cooling process to improve overall thermal performance. In the present work, a brief overview of aircraft brake thermal considerations and formulation of the convection cooling problem are provided. This is followed by a review of studies of natural convection within closed and open-ended annuli and the closely related investigation of inboard and outboard subdomains of the braking system. Relevant studies of natural convection in open rectangular cavities are also discussed. Both experimental and numerical results obtained to date are addressed, with emphasis given to the characteristics of the flow field and the effects of changes in geometric parameters on flow and heat transfer. Findings of a concurrent numerical and experimental investigation of natural convection within the wheel and brake assembly are presented. These results provide, for the first time, a description of the three-dimensional aircraft braking system cooling flow field.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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