The effect of graphene nanoplatelet volume fraction on water graphene nanofluid thermal conductivity and viscosity
The aim of this thesis is to study the improvement of heat transfer in graphene-water nanofluids. Experiments were conducted with graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) to study the relative benefit of the thermal conductivity improvement in relationship to the potential detriment when considering the effect that more GNP dispersed in the water increases the viscosity of the resulting suspension relative to that of the water. A maximum enhancement ratio for GNP nanofluid thermal conductivity over water was 1.43 at a volume fraction of 0.014. Based upon GNP aspect ratios confirmed in sizing measurements, the DEM model presented by Chu et al., (2012) appears to describe the experimental results of this study when using a fitted interfacial resistance value of 6.25 E -8 m2 K W-1. The well-known Einstein viscosity model for spheres dispersed in fluids was shown to under predict the experimental data. Adjusting the intrinsic model term for spheres from a value of 2.5 to a fitted value of 1938 representative for the GNP of this study provided much closer agreement between measured and predicted values. Heat transfer is a nonlinear function of viscosity and thermal conductivity and heat transfer is predicted to decrease for GNP nanofluids when compared to water alone. Hence the use of nanofluids to enhance heat transfer processes appears not to be viable.