Research Papers

Viscosity and Friction Factor of Aluminum Oxide–Water Nanofluid Flow in Circular Tubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Clement C. Tang

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of North Dakota,
243 Centennial Drive Stop 8359,
Grand Forks, ND 58202
e-mail: clement.tang@engr.und.edu

Sanjib Tiwari

Kiewit Mining Group Inc.,
3555 Farnham Street,
Omaha, NE 68131
e-mail: sanjib.tiwari@kiewit.com

Matthew W. Cox

Hutchinson Technology Inc.,
329 North High Drive NW,
Hutchinson, MN 55350
e-mail: Matthew.Cox@hti.htch.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 28, 2013; final manuscript received September 23, 2013; published online October 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Sushanta K Mitra.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 4(2), 021004 (Oct 17, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: NANO-13-1044; doi: 10.1115/1.4025540 History: Received July 28, 2013; Revised September 23, 2013

Experiments have been conducted to characterize the viscosity and friction factor of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) nanoparticle dispersions at 6 vol. % in water. Rheological characterization of the Al2O3 nanofluid has shown that it exhibits a Newtonian fluid behavior for the shear rate range of 6 to 122 s−1 at temperatures between 6 and 75 °C. Friction factor results of the nanofluid flowing through circular tubes of 1 m in length with different inner tube diameters (2.97 and 4.45 mm) were experimentally measured in the laminar and the onset of transition regions. The experimental results from this study indicate that, when the nanofluid properties are properly characterized, the friction factors of the Al2O3 nanofluid are largely in agreement with classical friction factor theory for single-phase flow. An early transition to turbulent flow is observed for the nanofluid flow at a Reynolds number of approximately 1500, when compared with water flow where transition occurs at the textbook Reynolds number of roughly 2300.

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Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the experimental setup for pressure drop measurements

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Fig. 2

Viscosity of Al2O3–water (6 vol. %) nanofluid with variation of temperature

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Fig. 3

Rheological behavior of the Al2O3–water (6 vol. %) nanofluid

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Fig. 4

Measured friction factors of water flow in comparison with various friction factor correlations in the turbulent region

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Fig. 5

Measured friction factors of water flow in comparison with various friction factor correlations from laminar to turbulent region

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Fig. 6

Al2O3–water (6 vol. %) nanofluid flow friction factors, in comparison with water flow, in a 2.97-mm inner diameter tube (L/D = 337)

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Fig. 7

Al2O3–water (6 vol. %) nanofluid flow friction factors, in comparison with water flow, in a 4.45-mm inner diameter tube (L/D = 225)

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Fig. 8

Poiseuille numbers (fRe) of the Al2O3–water (6 vol. %) nanofluid flow, in comparison with water flow, in a 2.97-mm inner diameter tube

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Fig. 9

Poiseuille numbers (fRe) of the Al2O3–water (6 vol. %) nanofluid flow, in comparison with water flow, in a 4.45-mm inner diameter tube



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