The role of interfacial layers in the enhanced thermal conductivity of nanofluids: A renovated Hamilton–Crosser model

Research paper by W Yu, S.U.S. Choi

Indexed on: 01 Aug '04Published on: 01 Aug '04Published in: Journal of Nanoparticle Research


We previously developed a renovated Maxwell model for the effective thermal conductivity of nanofluids and determined that the solid/liquid interfacial layers play an important role in the enhanced thermal conductivity of nanofluids. However, this renovated Maxwell model is limited to suspensions with spherical particles. Here, we extend the Hamilton--Crosser model for suspensions of nonspherical particles to include the effect of a solid/liquid interface. The solid/liquid interface is described as a confocal ellipsoid with a solid particle. The new model for the three-phase suspensions is mathematically expressed in terms of the equivalent thermal conductivity and equivalent volume fraction of anisotropic complex ellipsoids, as well as an empirical shape factor. With a generalized empirical shape factor, the renovated Hamilton--Crosser model correctly predicts the magnitude of the thermal conductivity of nanotube-in-oil nanofluids. At present, this new model is not able to predict the nonlinear behavior of the nanofluid thermal conductivity.