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Investigation of thermal conductivity and rheological properties of nanofluids containing graphene nanoplatelets

Mohammad Mehrali1, Emad Sadeghinezhad2*, Sara Tahan Latibari1, Salim Newaz Kazi1, Mehdi Mehrali1, Mohd Nashrul Bin Mohd Zubir2 and Hendrik Simon Cornelis Metselaar1

Author Affiliations

1 Advanced Material Research Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:15  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-15

Published: 13 January 2014

Abstract

In the present study, stable homogeneous graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) nanofluids were prepared without any surfactant by high-power ultrasonic (probe) dispersion of GNPs in distilled water. The concentrations of nanofluids were maintained at 0.025, 0.05, 0.075, and 0.1 wt.% for three different specific surface areas of 300, 500, and 750 m2/g. Transmission electron microscopy image shows that the suspensions are homogeneous and most of the materials have been well dispersed. The stability of nanofluid was investigated using a UV-visible spectrophotometer in a time span of 600 h, and zeta potential after dispersion had been investigated to elucidate its role on dispersion characteristics. The rheological properties of GNP nanofluids approach Newtonian and non-Newtonian behaviors where viscosity decreases linearly with the rise of temperature. The thermal conductivity results show that the dispersed nanoparticles can always enhance the thermal conductivity of the base fluid, and the highest enhancement was obtained to be 27.64% in the concentration of 0.1 wt.% of GNPs with a specific surface area of 750 m2/g. Electrical conductivity of the GNP nanofluids shows a significant enhancement by dispersion of GNPs in distilled water. This novel type of nanofluids shows outstanding potential for replacements as advanced heat transfer fluids in medium temperature applications including solar collectors and heat exchanger systems.

Keywords:
Graphene nanoplatelets; Nanofluids; Thermal conductivity; Rheology; Stability