Laminar Free Convection From a Downward-Projecting Fin

[+] Author and Article Information
G. S. H. Lock, J. C. Gunn

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

J. Heat Transfer 90(1), 63-70 (Feb 01, 1968) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3597461 History: Received December 27, 1966; Online August 25, 2011


A theoretical analysis of conduction through and free convection from a tapered, downward-projecting fin immersed in an isothermal quiescent fluid is presented. The problem is solved by assuming quasi-one-dimensional heat conduction in the fin and matching the solution to that of the convection system, which is treated as a boundary layer problem. For an infinite Prandtl number, solutions are derived which take the form of a power law temperature distribution along the fin. The effect of this power (n) on heat transfer, drag, and the corresponding boundary layer profiles is discussed. It is shown that n is independent of the fin profile and dependent on a single nondimensional group χ. The theoretical results for infinite Prandtl number are compared with corresponding results derived from previous work using a Prandtl number of unity. The effect of Prandtl number on the determination of n and consequently the fin effectiveness is found to be extremely small. The results of an experimental program are also presented. These consist of temperature profiles and the n — χ relation for different fin geometries and surrounding fluids. Comparison with the theoretical predictions reveals good agreement.

Copyright © 1968 by ASME
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