Technical Briefs

On the Condition for Thermal Rectification Using Bulk Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
David B. Go1

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556dgo@nd.edu

Mihir Sen

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556msen@nd.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 132(12), 124502 (Sep 20, 2010) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002286 History: Received January 18, 2010; Revised July 14, 2010; Published September 20, 2010; Online September 20, 2010

In conduction, thermal rectification occurs when a material or structure transfers heat asymmetrically. In this work, it is shown that, in the bulk, a necessary condition for thermal rectification is that the thermal conductivity of the material or structure be a function of both space and temperature, and that this function be nonseparable. Practically, this can be achieved using a composite structure consisting of many materials although it could also be achieved with a properly developed single material.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Schematic of one-dimensional system

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Rectification as a function of the boundary temperature difference T2−T1 for three different two-material composites: metal-metal (copper-silver), metal-insulator (copper-quartz), and insulator-insulator (quartz-fluorite). The constants for each material (α and k¯) were estimated from the CRC Handbook (7)) for 300–400 K. The interface was the midplane between the two materials, and the average temperature was held constant at 350 K.




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