Growth and Decay of a Thermal Pulse Predicted by the Hyperbolic Heat Conduction Equation

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Vick

Mechanical Engineering Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va. 24061

M. N. Özisik

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. 27650

J. Heat Transfer 105(4), 902-907 (Nov 01, 1983) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3245680 History: Received January 07, 1983; Online October 20, 2009


The wave nature of heat propagation in a semi-infinite medium containing volumetric energy sources is investigated by solving the hyperbolic heat conduction equation. Analytic expressions are developed for the temperature and heat flux distributions. The solutions reveal that the spontaneous release of a finite pulse of energy gives rise to a thermal wave front which travels through the medium at a finite velocity, decaying exponentially while dissipating its energy along its path. When a concentrated pulse of energy is released, the temperature and heat flux in the wave front become severe. For situations involving very short times or very low temperatures, the classical heat diffusion theory significantly underestimates the magnitude of the temperature and heat flux in this thermal front, since the classical theory leads to instantaneous heat diffusion at an infinite propagation velocity.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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