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Nano Fluid Heat Transfer in a Tube with Spiral Strip

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The present problem is going to simulate the heat transfer of nanofluid Al2O3-water in the tube that contains the spiral bands.


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Heat Transfer Problem Description

The present problem is going to simulate the heat transfer of nanofluid Al2O3-water in the tube that contains the spiral bands. According to available information, nanofluids with two volume fractions of 0.5 and 1% were used. The Reynolds range is also studied in the range of 150 to 1600.

The Assumption for Nano fluid Heat Transfer CFD Simulation

There are several assumptions used to simulate the present problem:

  • Problem-solving is based on a pressure-based perspective.
  • The Laminar flow is considered.
  • The simulation is Steady-State.
  • The Earth’s gravitational effect is considered to be 9.81 m.s-2 along the Y direction.

Geometry & Mesh

The 3-D geometry is done by Design Modeler software. The present model consists of two main parts, including the pipe body and the spiral strips. The unstructured meshing of the present model was carried out using ANSYS Meshing software. The element number is equal to 2146882.

Nanofluid Heat Transfer CFD Simulation

Here are some summaries of the problem definition and problem-solving steps in the table:

Laminar Viscous model
on Energy
Boundary conditions (nano fluid heat transfer)
Velocity inlet Inlet type
0 Pa gauge total pressure
300 K total temperature
Outflow Outlet type
wall Walls type
5000 W.m-2 heat flux for fan’s walls
1 mm Wall thickness
Copper Wall material
Solution Methods
simple   Pressure-velocity coupling
Green-Gauss node based Gradient Spatial discretization
Second order pressure
First order upwind momentum
First order upwind energy
Initialization (nano fluid heat transfer)
Standard Initialization method
0.143202 m/s Z-velocity
300 K temperature

Boundary Condition for Nanofluid Heat Transfer CFD Simulation


At the inlet of this pipe, a constant velocity condition is applied along the pipe axis. Inlet fluid temperature is also considered to be 300 K.


The wall material of the tube is copper and has a thickness of 1 mm. The outer wall of the tube has a constant heat flux condition equal to 5000 W.m-2. The non-slip condition is also applied to walls.


The condition applied in this section is the condition of flow development.

Desired Outputs Definition

One of the objectives of this problem is to calculate the flow pressure drop due to movement within the pipe and through the spiral strips. Using Report Definition and selecting Area Weighted Average form Surface Report section, 3 cases of Velocity Magnitude, Total Pressure, and Static Pressure from the Variables section, calculated velocity variations, total pressure and static pressure at the pipe outlet.

Reference Value Definition

Since in this case the fluid and thermal parameters of the outflow pipe are compared with the fluid and thermal parameters at the pipe inlet, the reference value values should be considered as the pipe inlet values.


We obtain two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours of temperature, velocity, and pathlines, after the solution process. The following is a diagram of changes in the heat transfer coefficient on the outer wall of the pipe and comparison with the experimental results presented in the paper.

Graph of heat transfer coefficient for Re = 500 obtained from the numerical solution (CFD result):

heat transfer

Graph of heat transfer coefficient variations for Re=500 available in the article:

heat transfer

By comparing the two diagrams above obtained for a Re of 500 and a 1 mm helical strip thickness, we find that the numerical solution results are in agreement with the experimental results. The volume fraction of 0.5% is compared (Al2O3-water nanofluid).


All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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