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Review on Boundary-layer Flow of Nanofluids Over


A Continuously Stretching Sheet
Eldwin Djajadiwinata
1*

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, King Saud University,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


ABSTRACT
This paper presents a review of boundary-layer flow of nanofluids over a continuously
stretching sheet. The review started with an introduction on the problem considered. Afterwards, the
main approach of solving the problem, i.e., the single-phase approach and two-phase approach, are
presented. Based on the above mentioned approaches, several literatures related to boundary-layer
flow of nanofluids over a continuously stretching sheet are reviewed. Finally, the conclusions /
summaries are given.

Keyword: Nanofluids, Stretching surface, Boundary-layer
*Corresponding author: Eldwin Djajadiwinata; email: eldwin_dj@yahoo.com
Telp: +966-530823159
1. INTRODUCTION

Flow over stretching surface is an important engineering problem such as in the
cooling of material coming out of extrusion device and hot rolling device. The heat transfer
and flow characteristics will affect the quality of the product. Therefore, one must be able to
predict these flow and heat transfer processes in order to design the best method of cooling or
heating the product.
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The typical scheme of the stretching process can be seen in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1: Scheme of continuously stretched sheet such as in polymer extrusion process.

In such processes, boundary layer flow of the ambient fluid will be generated due to the no-
slip condition on the surface of the sheet as can be seen in Figure 1.
Researchers, mainly, have two approaches in predicting the flow and heat transfer of
nanofluids, i.e., the single-phase approach and two-phase approach. In single phase approach,
the nanofluids are treated as single-phase fluid which means there is no slip velocity between
phases (solid-particles vs. base fluid). The second approach, which is the two phase flow
approach, the velocity between the solid-particles and the base fluids is not neglected [1].
Regarding the flows over stretching surface, researchers have attempted the both
aforementioned approaches to predict their flow and heat transfer characteristics.
Unfortunately, so far, experimental investigation on this subject cannot be found yet.
Regarding the two-phase approach, researchers focused on two main mechanisms that
responsible for the slip velocity to exist, namely, Brownian diffusion and thermophoresis.
These two phenomena, i.e., Brownian diffusion and thermophoresis, have been predicted to
have the largest effect on the convective heat transfer enhancement in nanofluids whenever
the turbulent effects are negligible. These phenomena have been comprehensively analyzed
by Buongiorno [2].

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Thermophoresis is defined as the migration of a colloidal particle or large molecule
in a solution in response to a macroscopic temperature gradient. The particles will move to
the direction of decreasing temperature [3]. The random motion of nanoparticles within the
base fluid is called Brownian motion, and results from continuous collisions between the
nanoparticles and the molecules of the base fluid. If the turbulent eddies are present,
however, turbulent transport of the nanoparticles dominates, i.e., the nanoparticles are carried
by the turbulent eddies and other diffusion mechanisms are negligible [2].

2. THE GOVERNING EQUATIONS

In this section, the governing equations for flow of nanofluids are presented. The
governing equations based on the single-phase approach are the standard/usual single phase
governing equations. The only difference is that the properties of the fluid are taken as the
effective properties of the nanofluids obtained either experimentally or theoretically.
On the other hand, the governing equations of nanofluids for the two-phase flow
approach will follow those developed by Buongiorno [2] which take into account the
Brownian diffusion and thermophoresis effects. The assumptions for these equations are
written below and each of them was justified very well by Buongiorno [2].
1. Incompressible flow
2. No chemical reactions
3. Negligible external forces
4. Dilute mixture
5. Negligible viscous dissipation
6. Negligible radiative heat transfer
7. Nanoparticles and base fluid locally in thermal equilibrium

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The governing equations consist of continuity equation for the nanofluid, continuity
equation for the nanoparticles, momentum equation, and energy equation. These equations
are presented below.
The continuity equation for nanofluids is


(1)

The continuity equation for the nanoparticles is

]
(2)

Where , , ,

and

are nanofluid velocity, nanofluid temperature, nanoparticle


volumetric fraction, Brownian diffusivity and thermophoresis diffusivity, respectively.
Equation (2) states that the nanoparticles can move homogeneously with the fluid
(second term of the left-hand side), but they also possess a slip velocity relatively to the fluid
(right-hand side), which is due to Brownian diffusion and thermophoresis [2].
The momentum equation for a nanofluid takes the same form as for a pure fluid, but
it should be remembered that the viscosity is a strong function of nanoparticles volumetric
fraction. If one introduces a buoyancy force and adopts the Boussinesq approximation, then
the momentum equation can be written as

(

(3) (3)




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Where the Nanofluid density, , is defined as

(4)

The nanofluid density can be approximated by the base fluid density,

, when the volume


fraction is small. When the Boussinesq approximation is applied to take into account natural
convection, the buoyancy term is approximated as

[

{(

)}] (5) (3) (3)



Finally, the energy equation for nanofluid is written as

[

]
(6)

Detailed explanations of these governing equations can be seen in [2] and [4].

3. LITERATURE REVIEW

As has been mentioned before, there are two main approaches used to deal with
convection with nanofluid. Therefore, the literature review about nanofluid flow over
continuously stretching surface will be devided into two main catagories, i.e., the single-
phase approach and the two-phase approach.

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3.1. The single-phase approach
Vajravelu et al. [5] conducted study on convective heat transfer of Ag-water and Cu-
water nanofluids flowing over a vertical continuously stretching surface. Their focus is on the
effects of nanoparticle volumetric fraction on the flow and heat transfer characteristics having
buoyancy and internal heat generation or heat absorption. The velocity of the surface was
assumed to be a linear function of x (U(x) = b(x)). The nanofluids properties were estimated
using the equations available in the literature. The scheme of the problem considered is
shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Physical model and coordinate system [5].

The method used was similarity method which will transform the coupled non-linear
partial differential equations into coupled non-linear ordinary differential equations.
Afterwards, these equations solved these ordinary differential equations.
They have found that both, base fluids and nanofluids behave the same trend in terms
of its response to natural convection, i.e., the buoyancy will assist the main flow (to +x
direction) if it has the same direction and vice versa.
It was also found that the increase in nanoparticle volume fraction will decrease the
velocity profile and increase the skin friction. Vajravelu et al. [5] stated that this was because
the nanoparticles lead to further thinning of the boundary layer. On the other hand, the
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thermal boundary layer increases with respect to the increase of the volume fraction. This is
reasonable since the thermal conductivity of nanoparticles is higher than that of the base
fluid. Hence, if the volume fraction of nanoparticles increases, most likely, the nanofluids
thermal conductivity will also increase. This, in turn, will increase the thermal boundary
layer.
Study on natural convection flow of a nanofluid over a linearly stretching sheet in the
presence of magnetic field has been conducted by Hamad [6]. The magnetic field applied was
assumed constant and perpendicular to the stretching sheet/surface. The temperature of the
surface as well as the ambient was also assumed constant. The sheet velocity was taken to be
proportional to the x direction (the stretching direction) in the form of

. The
governing equations were solved analytically using similarity method.
The nanoparticles data used are for Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag), Alumina (Al
2
O
3
), and
Titanium oxide (TiO
2
). Hamad [6] found that the magnetic field affected the momentum
boundary layer thickness inversely while, on the other hand, it affected the thermal boundary
layer proportionally. He also observed that the increase of nanoparticle volume fraction will
increase the thermal boundary layer which is consistent with the finding of Vajravelu et al.
[5]. It is also shown that the reduced Nusselt number,


, decreases as the
volume fraction of nanoparticles as well as the magnetic field increases.
Yacob et al. [7] did a research on mixed convection flow adjacent to a stretching
vertical sheet in a nanofluid. Three types of nanofluids are compared, i.e., Cu-water, Al
2
O
3
-
water, and TiO
2
-water nanofluids. The sheet velocity varies as

(x is set in
vertical direction and y is in horizontal direction) where is a constant. The temperature of
the stretching surface is assumed to be

where and

are constants.
The nanofluids properties are obtained from the available literature.

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They used similarity method in solving the governing equations in conjunction with
the boundary conditions. Consistent with the aforementioned literatures, Yacob et al. [7]
found that for all nanofluids show increase in thermal boundary layer thickness with respect
to nanoparticle volume fraction increase. Consequently, the temperature gradient decreases
with increasing nanoparticle volume fraction. On the other hand, the velocity boundary layer
thickness decreases with nanoparticle volume fraction increase and therefore the velocity
gradient at the surface increases with volume fraction.
It should be noted that, interestingly, the author stated that a decrease in thermal
conductivity is to enhance the heat transfer rate at the surface. Thus, they arrived to a
conclusion that TiO
2
-water nanofluid, which has the lowest thermal conductivity, has better
heat transfer capability compared to that of Al
2
O
3
-water and CuO-water nanofluids. This
statement is based on the trend of the non-dimensional temperature gradient which is
increasing as the volume fraction (consequently the thermal conductivity) is increasing.
However, in our opinion, this statement is misleading because the heat transfer rate does not
only depend on the temperature gradient but also depend on the thermal conductivity. Thus,
to know the effect of nanofluids volume fraction on the heat transfer rate, one should
consider, both, the increase of the thermal conductivity and the decrease of the temperature
gradient.

3.2. The two-phase approach
Khan and Pop [8] were the first reserachers who investigated laminar fluid flow and
heat transfer of nanofluid over continuously stretching surface. They take into account
Brownian motion and thermophoresis in analyzing the problem. In solving the governing
equations in conjunction with the boundary conditions, Khan and Pop used similarity method
which resulted in dimensionless ordinary differential equations that depended on Prandtl
number, Pr, Lewis number, Le, Brownian motion number Nb, and thermophoresis
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number, Nt. The scheme of the problem can be represented by Figure 1. The velocity of the
sheet was assumed linear with x direction (

). It was also assumed that the


temperature and the nanoparticle volume fraction at the stretching surface,

and

,
respectively, were constant. Furthermore, the temperature and volume fraction of
nanoparticles at the ambient,

and

, respectively, were also assumed constant.


They solved the governing equations (based on the modified form of Eq.(1) - (3), and
Eq.(6)) together with the boundary conditions by means of similarity method. The following
definitions were also introduced:



Where

and

are the volumetric specific heat of the nanoparticle and the base
fluid, respectively. The Brownian diffusivity, thermophoresis diffusifivty, and kinematic
viscosity of the nanofluid are denoted as

, and , respectively. It was also defined


that the reduced Nusselt number and the reduced Sherwood number (both are defined based
on the gradient at the wall) to be


and


.
Khan and Pop [8] have found that the thermal boundary layer increased with respect
to the increase of Brownian motion number, , and thermophoresis number, .
Furthermore, the nanoparticle volume fraction boundary layer decreased with the increase
of .
It was also shown that the reduced Nusselt number was decreasing function of Nb
and Nt which means that the higher the Nb or Nt the lower the reduced Nusselt number. Most
likely this is due to the effect of Brownian motion and Thermoporesis which cause the
increase of the effective thermal conductivity of nanofluids and, consequently, will reduce the
Nusselt number.
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We would like to point out that Khan and Pop [8] have stated that dimensionless heat
transfer rate decreased with the increase of Nb and Nt. In our opinion, this statement is
misleading because the actually Nusselt number is the dimensionless heat transfer coefficient
or dimensionless temperature gradient and not the dimensionless heat transfer rate. The heat
transfer rate is actually a function of, both, thermal conductivity and the temperature gradient.

Figure 3: Effects of Nb, Nt and Pr on the dimensionless concentration gradient at the surface [8].

The effects of Nb, Nt and Pr on the dimensionless concentration gradient at the
surface were also presented by Khan and Pop [8]. It can be seen in Figure 3.a which is for
Prandtl number of one such as gas, the dimensionless concentration gradient decreases with
Nb and Nt. On the other hand for Prandtl number of 10 (Figure 3.b), such as water at certain
temperature, the trend is the opposite. In our opinion, the reason of this opposite phenomena
is due to the difference in nature between gas and liquid. Such opposite phenomena can also
be found on the viscosity of gas and liquid, i.e., the viscosity of gas increases with increase of
temperature while the viscosity of liquid decreases as the temperature increases.
Makinde and Aziz [9] conducted research on boundary layer flow of a nanofluid past
a continuously stretching sheet under convective boundary condition (Figure 4).

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Figure 4: Geometry of the problem [9].

In this study Makinde and Aziz [9] assumed that the velocity of the stretching sheet
was

, where is a real positive number. The sheet surface temperature,

,
was the result of convective heating process which was characterized by a temperature,

,
and a heat transfer coefficient, h. The nanoparticle volume fraction at the surface and far
away from the surface are denoted by

and

. In order to solve this problem, they used


Buongiorno model (Eq.(1) - (6)) with some modifications.
Makinde and Aziz [9] solved the governing equations using similarity method as
done by Khan and Pop [8]. The difference was that, in this study, heat convection boundary
condition was applied. Thus, a new parameter introduced, i.e., Biot number defined as


where , were the heat transfer coefficient, kinematic viscosity, and
thermal conductivity of the base fluid. They compared their results with the results of Khan
and Pop [8] by applying which will represent a constant temperature of the
stretching surface. As we know, Khan and Pop [8] did the analysis based on constant surface
temperature. Makinde and Aziz [9] found that their results matched very well with those of
Khan and Pop [8] for the reduced Nusselt and Sherwood numbers at Le = 10 and Pr = 10.
The interconnected effect of Nt and Nb on the reduced Nusselt number had been
observed. They found that the when the Brownian motion was weak, the change of
thermophoretic strength/thermophorsis number had little impact on the reduced Nusselt
number and Sherwood number. However, when the Brownian motion was relatively strong /
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Brownian number was relatively high, thermophoresis affected the reduced Nusselt number
strongly that can reach up to 50% reduction as the thermoporesis number, Nt, increased from
0.1 to 0.5. For the reduced Sherwood number, the increase of thermophoresis number, Nt,
from 0.1 to 0.5, increased the reduced Sherwood number up to 8%.
Makinde and Aziz [9] had also found that when the Pr, Le, and Bi were hold
constant, the thermal boundary layer as well as the local temperature increased as the
Brownian number, Nb, and thermophoresis number, Nt increased. The same trend was also
true for the thermal boundary layer when the Pr, Nb, Nt, and Le were kept constant and the
Bi was increased. However, the opposite trend was true for the thermal boundary layer
thickness when all parameters were kept constant while the Prandtl number was increase.
Furhtermore, they also concluded that the concentration boundary layer thickened as the Biot
number, Bi, increased.

4. CONCLUSION

Literature review has been conducted on a topic related to flow and heat transfer of
nanofluids over continuously stretching surface. The result of the review can be summarized
as follows:
1. There are two main approaches in dealing with convection in nanofluids including
convection of nanofluids flowing over continuously stretching surface. These two main
approaches are (1) the single-phase approach where it is assumed that there is no
relative motion between the nanoparticles and the base fluid and (2) the two-phase
approach where this relative movement of nanoparticles (slip velocity) is taken into
account.
2. Regarding the two-phase approach, Buongiorno [2] had conducted a comprehensive
study on convection heat transfer enhancement of nanofluids. He concluded that
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Brownian diffusion and thermophoresis have the largest effect on the convective heat
transfer enhancement in nanofluids whenever the turbulent effects are negligible.
Governing / conservation equations for nanofluids were also developed. If the turbulent
eddies are present, however, turbulent transport of the nanoparticles dominates, i.e., the
nanoparticles are carried by the turbulent eddies and other diffusion mechanisms are
negligible [2]
3. For the single phase approach, the concentration is assumed uniform all over the
domain of interest. Thus the study is focused on the effect of concentration and Prandtl
number of the nanofluids on the thermal boundary layer, velocity boundary layer,
reduced Nusselt number and skin friction.
4. For the two-phase approach, things are more complicated. Besides the three
conventional conservation equations, there is another equation, i.e., continuity equation
for nanoparticles which will result in concentration gradient/boundary layer near the
surface of the surface. The main parameters under consideration are Prandtl number, Pr,
Lewis number, Le, Brownian number, Nb, and thermophoresis number, Nt and their
effects on the reduced Nusselt number,


, and the reduced Sherwood
number,


.
5. All of the studies taking the two-phase approach based their governing equations on
those developed by Buongiorno [2] with or without modifications.
6. Generally, in the single phase approach it is found that the increase in nanoparticle
volume fraction will decrease the velocity profile and increase the skin friction. On the
other hand, the thermal boundary layer increases with respect to the increase of the
volume fraction. It also can be concluded that reduced Nusselt number,


,
decreases as the volume fraction of nanoparticles increases.
7. For the two-phase approached it can be concluded that, in general, when the Prandtl
number, Pr, and Lewis number, Le, were hold constant, the thermal boundary layer as
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well as the local temperature increased as the Brownian number, Nb, and
thermophoresis number, Nt increased. However, the opposite trend was true for the
thermal boundary layer thickness when all parameters were kept constant while the
Prandtl number was increased.
8. Also the two-phase approached it can be concluded that, for fixed Pr and Le, the
reduced Nusselt number decreases while, on the other hand, the reduced Sherwood
number increases as the Brownian number and thermophoresis number increase.

REFERENCES
[1] Haddad, Z., Oztop, H. F., Abu-Nada, E., and Mataoui, A., 2012, "A Review on Natural
Convective Heat Transfer of Nanofluids," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(7),
pp. 5363-5378.
[2] Buongiorno, J., 2005, "Convective Transport in Nanofluids," Journal of Heat Transfer,
128(3), pp. 240-250.
[3] Http://Aerosols.Wustl.Edu/Education/Thermophoresis/Section01.Html, last accessed
January 6, 2014,
[4] Nield, D. A., and Kuznetsov, A. V., 2009, "Thermal Instability in a Porous Medium Layer
Saturated by a Nanofluid," International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 52(2526), pp.
5796-5801.
[5] Vajravelu, K., Prasad, K. V., Lee, J., Lee, C., Pop, I., and Van Gorder, R. A., 2011,
"Convective Heat Transfer in the Flow of Viscous AgWater and CuWater Nanofluids over
a Stretching Surface," International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 50(5), pp. 843-851.
[6] Hamad, M. a. A., 2011, "Analytical Solution of Natural Convection Flow of a Nanofluid
over a Linearly Stretching Sheet in the Presence of Magnetic Field," International
Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 38(4), pp. 487-492.
[7] Yacob, N. A., Ishak, A., Nazar, R., and Pop, I., 2013, "Mixed Convection Flow Adjacent
to a Stretching Vertical Sheet in a Nanofluid," Journal of Applied Mathematics, 2013(pp. 6.
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[8] Khan, W. A., and Pop, I., 2010, "Boundary-Layer Flow of a Nanofluid Past a Stretching
Sheet," International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 53(1112), pp. 2477-2483.
[9] Makinde, O. D., and Aziz, A., 2011, "Boundary Layer Flow of a Nanofluid Past a
Stretching Sheet with a Convective Boundary Condition," International Journal of Thermal
Sciences, 50(7), pp. 1326-1332.