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A Benchmark Study on the Thermal Conductivity of Nanofluids



Jacopo Buongiorno, David Venerus, Naveen Prabhat, Thomas McKrell, Jessica Townsend, Rebecca Christianson, Yuriy Tolmachev, Pawel Keblinski, Lin-wen Hu, Jorge Alvarado, In Cheol Bang, Sandra Bishnoi, Marco Bonetti, Frank Botz, Anselmo Cecre, Yun Chang, Gang Chen, Haisheng Chen, Sung Jae Chung, Minking Chyu, Sarit Das, Roberto Di Paola, Yulong Ding, F. Dubois, Grzegorz Dzido, Jacob Eapen, Werner Escher, Denis Funfschilling, Quentin Galand, Jinwei Gao, Patricia Gharagozloo, Kenneth Goodson, Jorge Gustova Jin, Haiping Hong, Mark Horton, Carlo Iorio, Andrzej Jarzebski, Yiran Jiang, L.W. Jin, Stephan Kabelac, Aravind Kamath, Mark A. Kedzierski, Chongyoup Kim, Ji Hyun Kim, Sukwon Kim, Lim Geok Kieng, K Leong, Indranil Manna, Bruno Michel, Rui Ni, Hrishikesh Patel, John Philip, Dimos Poulikakos, Cecile Reynaud, Raffaele Savino, Pawan Singh, Pengxiang Song, T. Sundararajan, Elena Timofeeva, Todd Tritcak, A.N. Turanov, Stefan Van Vaerenbergh, Dongsheng Wen, Sanjeeva Witharana, Charles Chun Yang, W.-H. Yeh, Xiao-Zheng Zhao, Sheng-Qi Zhou


This article reports on the International Nanofluid Property Benchmark Exercise (INPBE) in which the thermal conductivity of identical samples of colloidal dispersions of nanoparticles, or nanofluids , was measured by over 30 organizations worldwide, using a variety of experimental approaches, including the transient hot wire method, steady-state methods and optical methods. The nanofluids tested in the exercise comprised aqueous and non-aqueous basefluids, metal and metal oxide particles, near-spherical and elongated particles, at low and high particle concentrations. The data analysis reveals that the data from most organizations lie within a relatively narrow band ( 10% or less) about the sample average, with only few outliers. The thermal conductivity of the nanofluids was found to increase with particle concentration and aspect ratio, as expected from theory. There are (small) systematic differences in the absolute values of the nanofluid thermal conductivity among the various experimental approaches; however, such differences tend to disappear when the data are normalized to the measured thermal conductivity of the basefluid. The effective medium theory developed by Maxwell in 1881, and recently generalized by Nan et al., was found to be in good agreement with the experimental data, suggesting that no anomalous enhancement of thermal conductivity was achieved in the nanofluids tested in this exercise.
Journal of Applied Physics


nanoparticles, colloids, thermal conductivity, viscosity


Buongiorno, J. , Venerus, D. , Prabhat, N. , McKrell, T. , Townsend, J. , Christianson, R. , Tolmachev, Y. , Keblinski, P. , Hu, L. , Alvarado, J. , Bang, I. , Bishnoi, S. , Bonetti, M. , Botz, F. , Cecre, A. , Chang, Y. , Chen, G. , Chen, H. , Chung, S. , Chyu, M. , Das, S. , Paola, R. , Ding, Y. , Dubois, F. , Dzido, G. , Eapen, J. , Escher, W. , Funfschilling, D. , Galand, Q. , Gao, J. , Gharagozloo, P. , Goodson, K. , Jin, J. , Hong, H. , Horton, M. , Iorio, C. , Jarzebski, A. , Jiang, Y. , Jin, L. , Kabelac, S. , Kamath, A. , Kedzierski, M. , Kim, C. , Kim, J. , Kim, S. , Kieng, L. , Leong, K. , Manna, I. , Michel, B. , Ni, R. , Patel, H. , Philip, J. , Poulikakos, D. , Reynaud, C. , Savino, R. , Singh, P. , Song, P. , Sundararajan, T. , Timofeeva, E. , Tritcak, T. , Turanov, A. , Vaerenbergh, S. , Wen, D. , Witharana, S. , Yang, C. , Yeh, W. , Zhao, X. and Zhou, S. (2009), A Benchmark Study on the Thermal Conductivity of Nanofluids, Journal of Applied Physics, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created November 12, 2009, Updated October 12, 2021