Stephen U.-S. Choi
Downscaling or miniaturization has been a recent major trend in modern science and technology. Engineers now fabricate microscale devices such as microchannel heat exchangers, and micropumps that are the size of dust specks. Further major advances would be obtained if the coolant flowing in the microchannels were to contain nanoscale particles to enhance heat transfer. Nanofh.dd technology will thus be an emerging and exciting technology of the 21st century.
This paper gives a brief history of the Advanced Fluids Program at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), discusses the concept of nanofluids, and provides an overview of the R&D program at ANL on the production, property characterizatio~ and peflormance of nanofluids. It also describes examples of potential applications and benefits of nanofluids. Finally, future research on the fimdamentals and applications of nanofluids is addressed.
Since Nobel prize wimer Richard Feynrnan presented the concept of micromachines in 1959, miniaturization has been a major trend in modern science and technology. Almost 40 years later, another Nobel prize winner, H. Rohrer, presented the chances and challenges of the “nano-age” (Rohrer, 1996). The steady miniaturization trend has dropped from the millimeter scale of the early 1950s to the present-day atomic scale (Sohn, 1998). The concept and development of nanofluids is directly related to trends in miniaturization and nanotechnology. The pioneering efforts at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) are keyed to potential commercial applications of nanofluids in many diverse industries.
This paper provides an overview of ANL’s nanofluid technology. First of all. we will discuss the miniaturization trend and nanotechnology because they are related to the development of nanofluids technology. After briefly describing the history of ANL’s Advanced Fluids Program to show how the concept of nanofluids has been developed, we will discuss the concept of nanofluids, the technology for producing nanoparticles and nanofluids, and thermal conductivity and heat transfer measurements of nanofluids with oxide nanophase materials. We will also explore the potential benefits of nanofluids to show that ultra-high-performance nanofluids can have major implications for many industries. It is shown that one of the benefits of nanofluids will be dramatic reductions in heat exchanger pumping power. Finally, we will discuss the fundamental issues related to the development of nanofluids.
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