Aggregation structure and thermal conductivity of nanofluids



Nanofluids are obtained by suspending metallic nanoparticles in conventional base liquids. Such a new class of heat-transfer fluid is superior to the base liquids in energy-transport performance, which depends on the distribution, volume fraction and thermal properties of the suspended nanoparticles. The theory of Brownian motion and the diffusion-limited aggregation model are applied to simulate random motion and the aggregation process of the nanoparticles. A theoretical model is developed to predict the thermal conductivity of nanofluids. Comparison between the theoretical and experimental results shows the validity and accuracy of the theoretical model.