Thermal development in open-cell metal foam: An experiment with constant wall heat flux

Nihad Dukhan*, Özer Baʇci, Mustafa Özdemir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental heat transfer results for a commercial open-cell aluminum foam cylinder heated at the wall by a constant heat flux and cooled by water flow, are presented. The results cover thermal-entry and fully-developed regions. Measurements include wall temperature along flow direction as well as average inlet and outlet temperatures of the water. Flow rates are in the Darcy and non-Darcy (transitional and Forchheimer) regimes. The wall temperature along the foam clearly shows two distinct behaviors related to thermally-developing and fully-developed conditions, which is confirmed by the behavior of local Nusselt number. The thermal entry length is determined and discussed in detail; it is also compared to its analytical counterpart for Darcy flow. The thermal entry region in metal foam is found to be significant and much longer than its analytically-predicted value. A method for estimating the bulk fluid temperature is envisioned for calculating the local Nusselt number. Previously undiscussed phenomenon is captured in the behavior of Nusselt number for non-Darcy regimes, which suggests periodic thermal development along the foam. The fully-developed data for the Darcy flow cases is compared to its analytical counterpart, and a correlation for the Nusselt number as a function of Reynolds number is proposed for non-Darcy flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-859
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


This work was supported by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) under program 2221: 1059B211301074 , for which the authors are very thankful.

FundersFunder number
Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey


    • Convection
    • Developing
    • Fully developed
    • Metal foam
    • Thermal entry


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