Induced flow field of randomly moving nanoparticles: a statistical perspective
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© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Thermal transport in nanofluids, i.e., suspensions of nanoparticles in a base fluid, is a subject of dispute in the literature with no conclusion as to the governing mechanisms describing it. The interaction between the suspended particles and the base fluid has been cited as the main contributor to the phenomenon. However, the exact cause of the enhancement of heat transfer in nanofluids is still not fully understood. In this study, a simplified computational approach for a nanofluid simulation is proposed. The fluid motions induced by the random Brownian motions of suspended particles are examined from a statistical perspective. The results confirm that the motions of the suspended particles induce a random flow field within the fluid and provide a statistical assessment of this field. As the Brownian time-step is reduced, the statistics of the fluid phase slowly converge. The statistics also indicate the existence of local convective eddies throughout the fluid phase as particles move about. Parameters related to the computational setup do not affect the statistics of the induced fluid velocity. However, implementation of the slip assumption affects the results of the simulation. The calculated local fluid disturbance varies with the particle size with the location of maximum depending on the slip assumption. Finally, it was observed that higher fluid temperature will have a stronger effect on the induced flow field.
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