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Al2O3-based nanofluids: a review

Veeranna Sridhara1 and Lakshmi Narayan Satapathy2*

Author Affiliations

1 New Horizon College of Engineering, Bangalore, India

2 Ceramic Technological Institute, BHEL, Malleswaram Complex, Bangalore 560012, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:456  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-456

Published: 16 July 2011


Ultrahigh performance cooling is one of the important needs of many industries. However, low thermal conductivity is a primary limitation in developing energy-efficient heat transfer fluids that are required for cooling purposes. Nanofluids are engineered by suspending nanoparticles with average sizes below 100 nm in heat transfer fluids such as water, oil, diesel, ethylene glycol, etc. Innovative heat transfer fluids are produced by suspending metallic or nonmetallic nanometer-sized solid particles. Experiments have shown that nanofluids have substantial higher thermal conductivities compared to the base fluids. These suspended nanoparticles can change the transport and thermal properties of the base fluid. As can be seen from the literature, extensive research has been carried out in alumina-water and CuO-water systems besides few reports in Cu-water-, TiO2-, zirconia-, diamond-, SiC-, Fe3O4-, Ag-, Au-, and CNT-based systems. The aim of this review is to summarize recent developments in research on the stability of nanofluids, enhancement of thermal conductivities, viscosity, and heat transfer characteristics of alumina (Al2O3)-based nanofluids. The Al2O3 nanoparticles varied in the range of 13 to 302 nm to prepare nanofluids, and the observed enhancement in the thermal conductivity is 2% to 36%.