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Improved Experimental Device for Thermal Phenomena Studies on Transition to Micro-scale

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2004.IntThermSciSemin.970
pages 779-784

A. Popescu
Thermal Sciences Department, "Gh. Asachi" Technical University of Iasi, Blv.D. Mangeron, 59-61, Iasi, Romania

James R. Welty
Department Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University, 204 Rogers Hall, Corvallis, Oregon - 97331, USA

David M. Pfund
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington — 99352, USA

C.E. Panaite
Thermal Sciences Department, "Gh. Asachi" Technical University of Iasi, Blv.D. Mangeron, 59-61, Iasi, Romania

Ovidiu V. Stadoleanu
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University "Gh. Asachi" of Iasi, Romania, Bd. Mangeron 59, Iasi - 700050, Romania


One of the major trends in scientific research and industrial applications is represented by miniaturization, that is, decrease of dimensions from macro- to micro-, or even nano-scale. This introduces several theoretical and technical problems, as some theories applicable for macroscopic phenomena may not be valid at microscopic scales. Studies conducted thus far focused on specific geometries and conditions and failed to provide generally applicable theoretical approaches have to be employed in studying thermal phenomena at small scales.
This paper proposes an experimental device that was used with success in experimental analysis of thermal phenomena in rectangular channels. It allows progressive dimensional transition from macro-scale to micro-scale. Experimental variables have been carefully identified and controlled. All test loop components were carefully chosen to minimize the experimental measurement errors. The test section design not only minimizes the number of unknown and/or uncontrollable variables, but also allows phenomena visualization that augment the quality of observations through flow visualization (video-photo-microscopy) of the phenomena occurring in the micro-channel. Experimental results were checked against a numerical model developed by authors.

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