Nanofluids, i.e. fluid suspensions of nanometer-sized solid particles and fibers, have been proposed as a route for surpassing the performance of heat transfer liquids currently available. Recent experiments on nanofluids have indicated significant increases in thermal conductivity compared with liquids without nanoparticles or larger particles, strong temperature dependence of thermal conductivity, and significant increases in critical heat flux in boiling heat transfer. Some of the experimental results are controversial, e.g. the extent of thermal conductivity enhancement sometimes greatly exceeds the predictions of well-established theories. So, if these exciting results on nanofluids can be confirmed in future systematic experiments, new theoretical descriptions may be needed to account properly for the unique features of nanofluids, such as high particle mobility and large surface-to-volume ratio.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(05)70936-6