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International Heat Transfer Conference 12

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Computation of the heat release from fins made of a substrate and a high thermal conductivity coating

Cristobal Cortes
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Zaragoza, 50015 Zaragoza, Spain

Antonio Campo
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

Luis Ignacio Diez
Centro de Investigacion del Rendimiento de Centrales Electricas, Maria de Luna 3, 50015 Zaragoza, Spain

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC12.1140
6 pages


Coated fins constitute a new concept in heat transfer enhancement This type of fin is made from a primary material (the substrate) that usually possesses a low-to-moderate thermal conductivity. To augment the transfer of heat from the primary material to the surrounding fluid, a viable option is to coat the substrate with a thin layer of a high conductivity material (the coating).
The formal model for a two-material fin is complicated because it involves a conjugate system of two heat conduction equations in two space variables. As a simpler alternative, Campo (2001) proposed a simplified quasi one-dimensional model that engages an ordinary differential equation with embedded spatial means of the thermal conductivities of the substrate and the coating. Similarly, Lalot et al. (1999) showed that the arithmetic spatial mean approximates the exact solution for a coated annular fin.
The objective of this study is to extend these results to two-material fins of diverse geometry, with particular attention to fins of variable thickness. To this end, the system of two partial differential equations, coupled with the applicable boundary conditions, is solved with the Finite Element Method (FEM), the foremost method for the analysis of irregular geometries. The adequacy of the approximate algebraic solutions is tested against the exact numerical solutions supplied by the FEM.

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