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Research Papers: Porous Media

Numerical Analysis of Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop in Metal Foams for Different Morphological Models

[+] Author and Article Information
Marcello Iasiello

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale,
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II,
P.le Tecchio 80,
Napoli 80125, Italy
e-mail: marcello.iasiello@unina.it

Salvatore Cunsolo

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale,
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II,
P.le Tecchio 80,
Napoli 80125, Italy
e-mail: sal.cuns@gmail.com

Maria Oliviero

Istituto per i Polimeri, Compositi e Biomedici,
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche,
P.le Fermi 1,
Portici (Napoli) 80055, Italy
e-mail: maria.oliviero@unina.it

William M. Harris

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Connecticut,
Storrs, CT 06269
e-mail: wmasonharris@gmail.com

Nicola Bianco

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale,
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II,
P.le Tecchio 80,
Napoli 80125, Italy
e-mail: nicola.bianco@unina.it

Wilson K. S. Chiu

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Connecticut,
Storrs, CT 06269
e-mail: wchiu@engr.uconn.edu

Vincenzo Naso

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale,
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II,
P.le Tecchio 80,
Napoli 80125, Italy
e-mail: vincenzo.naso@unina.it

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received December 18, 2013; final manuscript received July 25, 2014; published online August 18, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Andrey Kuznetsov.

J. Heat Transfer 136(11), 112601 (Aug 18, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: HT-13-1655; doi: 10.1115/1.4028113 History: Received December 18, 2013; Revised July 25, 2014

Because of their light weight, open porosity, high surface area per unit volume, and thermal characteristics, metal foams are a promising material for many industrial applications involving fluid flow and heat transfer. The pressure drop and heat transfer in porous media have inspired a number of experimental and numerical studies, and many models have been proposed in the literature that correlate the pressure gradient and the heat transfer coefficient with the mean cell size and porosity. However, large differences exist among results predicted by different models, and most studies are based on idealized periodic cell structures. In this study, the true three-dimensional microstructure of the metal foam is obtained by employing x-ray computed microtomography (XCT). This is the “real” structure. For comparison, ideal Kelvin foam structures are developed in the free-to-use software “surface evolver” surface energy minimization program. These are “ideal” structures. Pressure drop and heat transfer are then investigated in each structure using the CFD module of COMSOL® Multiphysics code. A comparison between the numerical predictions from the real and ideal geometries is carried out. The predictions showed that heat transfer characteristics are very close for low values of Reynolds number, but larger Reynolds numbers create larger differences between the results of the ideal and real structures. Conversely, the differences in pressure drop at any Reynolds number are nearly 100%. Results from the models are then validated by comparing them with experimental results taken from the literature. The validation suggests that the ideal structure poorly predicts the heat transfer and pressure drops.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
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References

Figures

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Fig. 4

SEM image of the sample: pore diameter, dp; cell diameter, dc

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Fig. 3

Normalized distribution of the solid sizes versus diameter

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Fig. 2

Tomography reconstruction of the foam sample

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Fig. 1

Photograph of the cylindrical foam sample

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Fig. 5

Mean porosity and mean specific surface area versus normalized cross-sectional dimension of the RVE (solid lines). Dashed lines represent the error curves, adding or subtracting the standard deviation from the mean value.

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Fig. 6

The domain: a) real and b) ideal

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Fig. 7

Details of generated meshes: a) real and b) ideal

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Fig. 8

Grid independence check for the real model

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Fig. 9

Grid independence check for the ideal model

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Fig. 10

Mean convective heat transfer coefficient versus superficial velocity

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Fig. 11

Mean volumetric heat transfer coefficient versus superficial velocity

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Fig. 12

Mean Nusselt number versus Reynolds number

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Fig. 13

Mean volumetric Nusselt number versus Reynolds number

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Fig. 16

Pressure drop versus superficial velocity, for the isothermal flow (q = 0 W/m2) and the nonisothermal flow (q = 5000 W/m2 imposed heat flux): (a) real model and (b) ideal model

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Fig. 17

Volumetric Nusselt number versus Reynolds number

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Fig. 18

Ratio of the pressure drop to the length of the domain versus superficial velocity

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Fig. 14

Pressure drop versus superficial velocity

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Fig. 15

Pressure drop per length versus the superficial velocity

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