Nanofluids are nanosize-powder suspensions that are of interest for their enhanced thermal transport properties. They are studied as promising alternatives to ordinary cooling fluids, but the tribiological effects of nanofluids on cooling-system materials are largely unknown. The authors have developed methodology that uses jet impingement on typical cooling-system materials to test such effects. The work is presented of the authors’ research on the interactions of a typical nanofluid (2% volume of alumina nanopowders in a solution of ethylene glycol in water) which is impinged on aluminum and copper specimens for tests as long as 112 hours. The surface changes were assessed by roughness measurements and optical-microscope studies. Comparative roughness indicate that both the reference cooling fluid of ethylene glycol and water and its nanofluid with 2% alumina produce roughness changes in aluminum (even for the shortest 3-hour test), but no significant roughness differences were observed between them. No significant roughness changes were observed for copper. Microscopy observations, however, show different surface modifications in both aluminum and copper by both the nanofluid and its base fluid. The possible mechanisms of early erosion are discussed. These investigations demonstrate suitable methods for the testing of nanofluid effects on cooling system-materials.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/valentin-soloiu/26/