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Technical Briefs

Simulation of Thermal Transport in Open-Cell Metal Foams: Effect of Periodic Unit-Cell Structure

[+] Author and Article Information
Shankar Krishnan1

Cooling Technologies Research Center, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088

Suresh V. Garimella

Cooling Technologies Research Center, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088sureshg@ecn.purdue.edu

Jayathi Y. Murthy

Cooling Technologies Research Center, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088

1

Currently at Bell Labs Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

J. Heat Transfer 130(2), 024503 (Feb 06, 2008) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2789718 History: Received December 08, 2006; Revised June 04, 2007; Published February 06, 2008

Direct simulation of thermal transport in open-cell metal foams is conducted using different periodic unit-cell geometries. The periodic unit-cell structures are constructed by assuming the pore space to be spherical and subtracting the pore space from a unit cube of the metal. Different types of packing arrangement for spheres are considered—body centered cubic, face centered cubic, and the A15 lattice (similar to a Weaire-Phelan unit cell)—which give rise to different foam structures. Effective thermal conductivity, pressure drop, and Nusselt number are computed by imposing periodic boundary conditions for aluminum foams saturated with air or water. The computed values compare well with existing experimental measurements and semiempirical models for porosities greater than 80%. The effect of different foam packing arrangements on the computed thermal and fluid flow characteristics is discussed. The capabilities and limitations of the present approach are identified.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Applications of porous cellular materials classified by the type of cellular geometry (adapted from Ref. 3)

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Figure 2

(a) Schematic representation of foam geometry creation and (b) sample images of foam geometry created for bcc, fcc, and A15 arrangements of spherical pores

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Figure 3

Schematic illustration of a periodic domain

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Figure 4

Predicted effective thermal conductivity of an aluminum foam-air system for a range of porosities. Also plotted are available semiempirical models and experimental measurements.

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Figure 5

Predicted friction factor as a function of modified Reynolds number (ReK=Red(√K∕D)). Results for the A15 lattice are plotted in red with symbols corresponding to the porosity range: 0.8<ε<0.96. The fcc (0.83<ε<0.95) and bcc (ε>0.94)(22) results are shown in green and blue, respectively. Also, experimental correlations from Refs. 21,36 are plotted.

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Figure 6

Predicted Nusselt number as a function of square root of Peclet number. Results for the A15 lattice are plotted in red with symbols corresponding to the porosity range: 0.8<ε<0.96. The fcc (0.83<ε<0.95) and bcc (ε>0.94)(22) results are in green and blue, respectively. Please refer to Fig. 5 for the legend.

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