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can be conveniently rephrased as:

 (4.1) Equivalently, (4.2)

For the vast majority of heat conduction problems, the emphasis is on rates of heat transfer rather than on amounts of heat transferred. Therefore, Eq. (4.2) is the starting point of further analysis for steady-state heat transfer.

To implement Eq. (4.2), it is convenient to make reference to Fig. 4.1. That figure shows a solid of arbitrary shape through which heat is passing. Also seen in the figure is a very small volume

 of dimensions , , and . It is this volume, called a control volume, to which Eq. (4.2) will be applied.

Fig. 4.1 A solid of arbitrary shape across which heat is passing

4.1

For the application of this heat balance equation, it is useful to enlarge the control volume and to focus attention on its individual faces. Figure 4.2 shows enlarged views of left-hand and right- hand faces of the control volume.

Fig. 4.2 Enlarged views of the faces of the control volume. (a) left-hand face and (b) right-hand face

 In the figure, the symbol is used to denote the derivative . The subscript indicates a heat flow in the direction. The rate of heat transfer crossing the left-hand face follows from Eq. (3.10) as: (4.3)

In this equation, the area across which heat is flowing is the face area

. The subscript

that is appended to the derivative indicates that it is to be evaluated at the location

. Next, in a manner analogous to Eq. (4.3), the rate at which heat crosses the right-hand face is:

(4.4)

It is useful, at this point, to determine the net rate of heat outflow for the direction. This quantity is obtained by differencing Eqs. (4.4) and (4.3), so that:

 (4.5) If use is made of the definition of the derivative: (4.6) then, (4.7)

A similar derivation yields:

4.2

(4.8)

(4.9)

Equation (4.2) requires that for steady state, there is no net heat transfer at the chosen control volume. This means that the sum of Eqs. (4.7) to (4.9) be zero, which leads to:

(4.10)

This equation is very famous and is encountered in many physical processes beside heat

conduction. It is called Laplace’s equation. It is, in fact, the most investigated equation in all of

mathematics. There are many elegant solution methods that have been employed to solve

Laplace’s equation. Those methods are taught in a graduate course on heat conduction. However,

no matter what the level of mathematical knowledge, it is possible to obtain analytical solutions
for the Laplace’s equation only for the most simple shapes and
boundary conditions.
Laplace’s equation can also be written in vector form as:
(4.11)
The operator takes different forms for different coordinate
systems. For Cartesian coordinates:
(4.12)
In cylindrical coordinates, the expression for this operator is:
Fig. 4.3 Pierre Simon de Laplace
(1749-1827)
(4.13)

where is the radial coordinate, is the angular coordinate, and is the axial coordinate.

There is a large class of problems in which the temperature does not depend on the angular coordinate . Such problems are called axisymmetric. The steady-state heat conduction in axisymmetric situations is governed by:

(4.14)

When the temperature varies with time in a solid material, there will be a corresponding variation of the rates of heat transfer within the solid and at its boundary. In such situations, the change of

4.3

internal energy in a

given

time interval will no

longer be zero as it was in the steady state.

Attention may be redirected to the First Law, Eq. (3.11). The time is related to the time by:

(4.15)

Over this small time interval, the change of internal energy must be very small. In this light, Eq. (3.11) may be rewritten as:

(4.16)

In writing this equation, the work transfer has been omitted. The quantity represents a very small quantity of heat, but it cannot be represented by , since

However, the quantities

and

(4.17)

have no physical meaning since the object does not possess

heat at state 1 or at state 2. Since our focus is now on timewise variations, it is convenient to rewrite Eq. (4.16) as:

(4.18)

In this equation, is the net rate of heat inflow into the control volume.

Equations (4.7-9), when summed, represent the net rate of outflow from the control volume. By reversing the sum and using Eq. (4.18), the unsteady equation for heat conduction emerges as:

(4.19)

The internal energy

is equal to the specific internal energy

times the mass within the control

 volume. In turn, the mass is equal to the density of the material times the volume . With this information: (4.20) From thermodynamics, (4.21) The introduction of Eqs. (4.20) and (4.21) into the First Law, Eq. (4.19), there is obtained: (4.22)

4.4

 This general equation for unsteady heat conduction can be specialized to solids ( result: ) with the (4.23) where has been defined in Eqs. (4.12) and (4.13) for Cartesian and cylindrical coordinates, respectively.

In many textbooks and, in particular, mathematics texts on differential equations, Eq. (4.23) is written as:

 (4.24) In this equation, is the thermal diffusivity whose units are dimensional form of this equation: or . The one- (4.25)

is called the heat equation by mathematicians.

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