Effect of Solute Concentration Gradients on the Onset of Convection: Uniform and Nonuniform Initial Gradients

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Kaviany

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

M. Vogel

General Dynamics, Thermodynamics Division, Fort Worth, TX 76101

J. Heat Transfer 108(4), 776-782 (Nov 01, 1986) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3247012 History: Received July 03, 1984; Online October 20, 2009


The time of the onset of convection in a fluid layer, which is initially stably stratified and then heated from below in a transient manner, is determined experimentally and analytically. The initial stratification is due to the presence of a solute concentration gradient. In addition to initial linear solute concentration distributions two other specific initial solute concentration distributions are considered. In Case 1, a zero gradient layer is located underneath a nonzero and uniform gradient layer. In Case 2, the zero gradient layer is on the top. The linear amplification theory is applied to the prediction of the onset time. Interferometry is used as a means of determining the onset time experimentally. It is shown that since the adverse temperature gradient is concentrated near the bottom, any nonuniformity in the solute concentration gradient in this region reduces the effectiveness of the gradient in delaying the onset. Experimental and predicted results are in good agreement.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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