Professor, Mechanical Engineering
112 Randolph Hall,
Blacksburg, VA 24061
112 Randolph Hall
The study of the heat transfer capabilities of nanofluids, i.e. fluids that are suspensions of nanometer size particles, has gained significant attention due to the enhancement in the thermal conductivity of the carrier fluid that is observed. Experimental data has shown large increases in thermal conductivity and increases in critical heat flux, however some of the experimental results are controversial and new theoretical descriptions are needed to address this phenomenon. Recent simulations have also shown that fluid in the vicinity of the nanoparticles can sustain very high heat fluxes and large temperature differences but are acknowledged to be a complex combination of phase transition, interfacial and transport phenomena. We use molecular dynamics simulations to understand the heat transfer mechanisms in nanofluids with the intent of resolving some of the inconsistencies observed in the experimental data.