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Thermal Conductivity and Viscosity of Self-Assembled Alcohol/Polyalphaolefin Nanoemulsion Fluids



J. Xu, Bao Yang, Boualem Hammouda


Very large thermal conductivity enhancement has been reported in colloidal suspensions of solid nanoparticles (i.e., nanofluids) and recently also in oil-in-water emulsions. In the present study, nanoemulsions of alcohol and polyalphaolefin (PAO) are spontaneously generated by self-assembly, and their thermal conductivity and viscosity are investigated experimentally. Alcohol and PAO have similar thermal conductivity values, so that the abnormal effects, such as particle Brownian motion, on thermal transport could be deducted in these alcohol/PAO nanoemulsions fluids. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurement shows that the alcohol droplets are spheres of 0.8-nm radius in these nanoemulsion fluids. Both thermal conductivity and dynamic viscosity of the fluids are found to increase with alcohol droplet loading, as expected from classical theories. However, the measured conductivity increase is very moderate, e.g., 2.3% increase for 9 vol. %, in these fluids. This suggests that no anomalous enhancement of thermal conductivity is observed in the alcohol/PAO nanoemulsion fluids tested in this study.
Nanoscale Research Letter


Thermal conductivity, Nanoemulsion Fluids, Polyalphaolefin


Xu, J. , Yang, B. and Hammouda, B. (2011), Thermal Conductivity and Viscosity of Self-Assembled Alcohol/Polyalphaolefin Nanoemulsion Fluids, Nanoscale Research Letter, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021