TECHNICAL PAPERS: Forced Convection

An Experimental Study of the Friction Factor and Mass Transfer Performance of an Offset-Strip Fin Array at Very High Reynolds Numbers

[+] Author and Article Information
Gregory J. Michna1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2078 H. M. Black Engineering Building, Ames, IA 50011

Anthony M. Jacobi

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, 1206 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Rodney L. Burton

Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois, 104 South Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801


Corresponding author. e-mail: michna@iastate.edu

J. Heat Transfer 129(9), 1134-1140 (Jan 22, 2007) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2739599 History: Received June 27, 2006; Revised January 22, 2007

Thermal-hydraulic performance data for offset-strip fin arrays are readily available in the range Re<10,000. However, in emerging applications in automotive and aerospace systems, where fan power is not a constraint and compactness is important, it may be desirable to operate offset-strip fin heat exchangers at very high Reynolds numbers. In this paper, friction factor and mass transfer performance of an offset-strip fin array at Reynolds numbers between 10,000 and 120,000 are characterized. A scale-model, eight-column fin array is used in pressure drop and naphthalene sublimation experiments, and the data are compared to predictions of performance given by available analytical models and extrapolations of the best available correlations. The friction factor data follow the correlation-predicted trend of decreasing monotonically as the Reynolds number is increased to 20,000. However, at higher Reynolds numbers, the friction factor increases as the Reynolds number increases and local maxima are observed in the data. Over the range investigated, the modified Colburn j factor decreases monotonically as the Reynolds number increases. For Reynolds numbers in the range 10,000<Re<120,000, well beyond that covered by state-of-the-art correlations, both the friction factor and Colburn j factor are roughly twice that predicted by extrapolating the best available correlations. The higher-than-predicted Colburn j factor at very high Reynolds numbers is encouraging for the use of offset-strip fin heat exchangers in emerging applications where compactness is of high importance.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the wind tunnel used in the pressure drop and mass transfer experiments

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Figure 2

Schematic of the experimental offset-strip fin array: L=25.4mm, Fp=25.4mm, t=3.18mm, and w(intothepage)=152mm. The fins within the dotted box were used for the naphthalene sublimation mass transfer measurements.

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Figure 3

Geometry of the fins used in the mass transfer experiments. All dimensions are in mm

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Figure 4

Fanning friction factor of the offset-strip fin array. The correlation given by Manglik and Bergles (1) and the model developed by Muzychka and Yovanovich (10) are shown for comparison.

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Figure 5

Modified Colburn j factor of the offset-strip fin array. The curve fit has an R2 value of 0.99. Previous work by Ge (21), the correlation given by Manglik and Bergles (1), and the model developed by Muzychka and Yovanovich (10) are shown for comparison.

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Figure 6

Row-by-row modified Colburn j factor in the offset-strip fin array for a wide range of Reynolds numbers



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