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# PROBLEM 2.

18

KNOWN: Geometry and steady-state conditions used to measure the thermal conductivity of an
aerogel sheet.

FIND: (a) Reason the apparatus of Problem 2.17 cannot be used, (b) Thermal conductivity of the
aerogel, (c) Temperature difference across the aluminum sheets, and (d) Outlet temperature of the
coolant.

## SCHEMATIC: Heater Coolant

Tc,i = 25°C mc = 10 kg/min

5 mm

Aerogel
sample (typ.)

D = 150 mm T = 5 mm

.
Heater, Eg
x

Aluminum
plate (typ.)

Coolant
out (typ.) T1 = T2 = 55°C

ASSUMPTIONS: (1) Steady-state conditions, (2) Constant properties, (3) One-dimensional heat
transfer.

PROPERTIES: Table A.1, pure aluminum [T = (T1 + Tc,i)/2 = 40°C = 313 K]: kal = 239 W/m⋅K.
Table A.6, liquid water (25°C = 298 K): cp = 4180 J/kg⋅K.

ANALYSIS:

(a) The apparatus of Problem 2.17 cannot be used because it operates under the assumption that
the heat transfer is one-dimensional in the axial direction. Since the aerogel is expected to have
an extremely small thermal conductivity, the insulation used in Problem 2.17 will likely have a
higher thermal conductivity than aerogel. Radial heat losses would be significant, invalidating
any measured results.

## E g = V(I) = 10V × 0.125 A = 1.25 W

Continued…

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PROBLEM 2.18 (Cont.)

## The conduction heat rate through each aerogel plate is

E g dT πD 2 Tc - T1
q= = -k a A = -k a ( )( )
2 dx 4 t

or
2E g t 2 × 1.25 W × 0.005 m W
ka = 2
= 2
= 5.9×10-3
m⋅K
<
πD (T1 - Tc ) π × (0.15 m) × (55 - 25)°C

(c) The conduction heat flux through each aluminum plate is the same as through the aerogel.
Hence,
(T - T ) ∆T
-k a c 1 = -k al al
t t
k 5.9×10-3 W/m ⋅ K
or ∆Tal = a (T1 - Tc ) =
k al 239 W/m ⋅ K
× 30°C = 0.74×10-3 °C <

The temperature difference across the aluminum plate is negligible. Therefore it is not important
to know the location where the thermocouples are attached.

## (d) An energy balance on the water yields

E g = mc
 p (Tc,o - Tc,i )

or
E g
Tc,o = Tc,i +
 p
mc
1.25 W
= 25°C +
1
= 25.02°C <
1 kg/min × min/s × 4180 J/kg ⋅ K
60

COMMENTS: (1) For all practical purposes the aluminum plates may be considered to be
isothermal. (2) The coolant may be considered to be isothermal.

Excerpts from this work may be reproduced by instructors for distribution on a not-for-profit basis for testing or instructional purposes only to students enrolled in
courses for which the textbook has been adopted. Any other reproduction or translation of this work beyond that permitted by Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976
United States Copyright Act without the permission of the copyright owner is unlawful.