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Mechanisms of heat flow in suspensions of nano-sized particles (nanofluids). (English) Zbl 1017.76094
Summary: Recent measurements on nanofluids have demonstrated that the thermal conductivity increases with decreasing grain size. However, such increase cannot be explained by existing theories. We explore four possible explanations for this anomalous increase: Brownian motion of particles, molecular-level layering of the liquid at the liquid/particle interface, the nature of heat transport in nanoparticles, and the effects of nanoparticle clustering. We show that the key factors in understanding thermal properties of nanofluids are the ballistic, rather than diffusive, nature of heat transport in nanoparticles, combined with direct or fluid-mediated clustering effects that provide paths for rapid heat transport.

MSC:
76T20 Suspensions
80A20 Heat and mass transfer, heat flow (MSC2010)
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