Laminar Heat Transfer Enhancement Downstream of a Backward Facing Step by Using a Pulsating Flow Articles uri icon


  • ARIAS, J.R.

publication date

  • April 2008

start page

  • 2075

end page

  • 2089


  • 7-8


  • 51

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0017-9310

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-2189


  • This study is motivated by the need to devise means to enhance heat transfer in configurations, like the back step, that appear in certain types of MEMS that involve fluid flow and that are not very efficient from the thermal transfer point of view. In particular, the work described in this paper studies the effect that a prescribed flow pulsation (defined by two control parameters: velocity pulsation frequency and pressure gradient amplitude at the inlet section) has on the heat transfer rate behind a backward facing step in the unsteady laminar 2-D regime. The working fluid that we have considered is water with temperature dependent viscosity and thermal conductivity. We have found that, for inlet pressure gradients that avoid flow reversal at both the upstream and downstream boundary conditions, the time-averaged Nusselt number behind the step depends on the two above mentioned control parameters and is always larger than in the steady-state case. At Reynolds 100 and pulsating at the resonance frequency, the maximum time-averaged Nusselt number in the horizontal wall region located behind the step whose length is four times the step height is 55% larger than in the steady-case. Away from the resonant pulsation frequency, the time-averaged Nusselt number smoothly decreases and approaches its steady-state value.