Numerical analysis of the axial heat conduction with variable fluid properties in a forced laminar flow tube
In this article, a theoretical model is developed to investigate the effects of the axial heat conduction on the laminar forced convection in a circular tube with uniform internal heat generation in the solid wall. In the current work, three different fluids, i.e. water, n-decane and air, are selected on purpose since their thermophysical properties show different behavior with temperature. The effects of the axial heat conduction with varying dynamic viscosity and/or varying thermal conductivity are investigated in a systematic manner. Results indicate that the variable-property effects could alleviate the reduction in Nusselt number (Nu) due to the axial heat conduction. For the case of Peclet number (Pe) equal to 100, wall thickness to inner diameter ratio of 1 and solid wall to fluid thermal conductivity ratio of 100, the maximum Nu deviation between constant and variable properties are up to 7.33% at the entrance part for water in the temperature range of 50℃, and 4.45% at the entrance part for n-decane in the temperature range of 120℃, as well as 2.20% at the ending part for air in the temperature range of 475℃, respectively. In addition, the average Nu deviation for water, n-decane and air are 3.24%, 1.94% and 1.74%, respectively. Besides, Nu decreases drastically with decreasing Pe when Pe≤500 and with increasing solid wall to fluid thermal conductivity ratio ( ) when ≤100. It is also found that variable properties have more obvious effects on the velocity profile at the upstream part while more obvious effects on the temperature profile at the downstream part.