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Open Access Nano Review

Scaling analysis for the investigation of slip mechanisms in nanofluids

S Savithiri, Arvind Pattamatta and Sarit K Das*

Author affiliations

Heat Transfer and Thermal Power Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, Chennai 600 036, India

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:471  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-471

Published: 26 July 2011


The primary objective of this study is to investigate the effect of slip mechanisms in nanofluids through scaling analysis. The role of nanoparticle slip mechanisms in both water- and ethylene glycol-based nanofluids is analyzed by considering shape, size, concentration, and temperature of the nanoparticles. From the scaling analysis, it is found that all of the slip mechanisms are dominant in particles of cylindrical shape as compared to that of spherical and sheet particles. The magnitudes of slip mechanisms are found to be higher for particles of size between 10 and 80 nm. The Brownian force is found to dominate in smaller particles below 10 nm and also at smaller volume fraction. However, the drag force is found to dominate in smaller particles below 10 nm and at higher volume fraction. The effect of thermophoresis and Magnus forces is found to increase with the particle size and concentration. In terms of time scales, the Brownian and gravity forces act considerably over a longer duration than the other forces. For copper-water-based nanofluid, the effective contribution of slip mechanisms leads to a heat transfer augmentation which is approximately 36% over that of the base fluid. The drag and gravity forces tend to reduce the Nusselt number of the nanofluid while the other forces tend to enhance it.