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Research Papers

How Good Is Open-Cell Metal Foam as Heat Transfer Surface?

[+] Author and Article Information
Indranil Ghosh

Cryogenic Engineering Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721 302, Indiaindranil@hijli.iitkgp.ernet.in

J. Heat Transfer 131(10), 101004 (Jul 28, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3160537 History: Received September 25, 2008; Revised February 28, 2009; Published July 28, 2009

High porosity open-cell metal foam is considered to be an attractive choice for compact heat exchanger applications because of its high area density and superior thermal performance. A systematic study has been made in the present article to verify the suitability of the porous material as an extended heat transfer surface. The area goodness (j/f) factor has been chosen as performance evaluation criterion. This governing parameter has been computed using the existing correlations for the heat transfer and pressure drop coefficients. Conservative estimate shows that the thermohydraulic characteristics of high porosity open-cell metal foam are almost alike, if not better than those of the conventional heat transfer surfaces. Importantly, the analysis has been found to be consistent with the Reynolds analogy. This study helps the designer in making the initial selection of foam surfaces for the heat exchanger application.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Open-cell foam (a) actual structure and (b) unit cubic cell model

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Figure 2

Velocity variation in (a) j and f factors and (b) area goodness factor predicted by different correlations for 10 PPI foam with a porosity of 0.88

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Figure 3

Velocity variation in (a) j and f factors and (b) area goodness factor for 10, 30, and 60 PPI foams with a porosity of 0.88

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Figure 4

Velocity variation in (a) j and f factors and (b) area goodness factor for 10 PPI foam having different porosities of 0.80, 0.85, and 0.90

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Figure 5

Velocity variation in (a) j and f factors and (b) area goodness factor for foam and offset strip fins

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Figure 6

Velocity variation in (a) j and f factors and (b) area goodness factor for foam and wavy fins

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