A comprehensive model has been proposed to account for the large enhancement of thermal conductivity in nanofluids and its strong temperature dependence, which the classical Maxwellian theory has been unable to explain. The dependence of thermal conductivity on particle size, concentration, and temperature has been taken care of simultaneously in our treatment. While the geometrical effect of an increase in surface area with a decrease in particle size, rationalized using a stationary particle model, accounts for the conductivity enhancement, a moving particle model developed from the Stokes-Einstein formula explains the temperature effect. Predictions from the combined model agree with the experimentally observed values of conductivity enhancement of nanofluids.
- Received 24 February 2004
- Published 27 September 2004
© 2004 The American Physical Society