Revealing the mechanisms behind the enhancement of thermal properties of graphene nanofluids | 10/26/2018 | Staff
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Disperse graphene in a suitable solvent and the resulting nanofluid will have much better thermal properties than the original liquid. Three ICN2 research groups collaborated to describe and explain this effect from the inside out. The results, published in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Nanoscale, provide a comprehensive analysis that alternately rules out and lends support to different existing theories as to the mechanisms driving the enhanced thermal conductivity and heat exchange found in nanofluids, bringing considerable insight into the field of thermal transport in dynamic systems.

Heat transfer fluids are widely used as coolants in vehicles and industrial processes to dissipate heat and prevent overheating. However, the cooling potential of current fluids based on water and oils is typically too low to meet the ever more demanding needs of industry. In microelectronics, for instance, absolute temperature control is crucial for the adequate and reliable performance of electronic components. Additionally, new equally demanding applications are emerging in energy conversion and thermal storage technologies.

Fluids - Task - Researchers - Attention - Fluids

With conventional fluids not up to the task, researchers have turned their attention to fluids with added nanoparticles, known as nanofluids. Many different base fluids and nanoparticles in different concentrations have been tested, with results all pointing to the overall enhancement of thermal properties. What is not yet known, though, is why this happens; what specific mechanisms are responsible for the improved heat exchange rates and thermal conductivities found in nanofluids.

In this paper, titled "Mechanisms behind the enhancement of thermal properties of graphene nanofluids," and published in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Nanoscale, researchers from three ICN2 groups have joined forces to shed some light on the matter. Lead author Ph.D. student María del Rocío Rodríguez Laguna of ICN2 Novel Energy-Oriented Materials Group reports how...
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