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From Experiments to Numerical Modeling: A Tool for Teaching Heat Transfer in Mechanical Engineering

Authors: D. Zabala, Y. Cárdenas, G. Núñez


In this work the numerical simulation of transient heat transfer in a cylindrical probe is done. An experiment was conducted introducing a steel cylinder in a heating chamber and registering its surface temperature along the time during one hour. In parallel, a mathematical model was solved for one dimension transient heat transfer in cylindrical coordinates, considering the boundary conditions of the test. The model was solved using finite difference method, because the thermal conductivity in the cylindrical steel bar and the convection heat transfer coefficient used in the model are considered temperature dependant functions, and both conditions prevent the use of the analytical solution. The comparison between theoretical and experimental results showed the average deviation is below 2%. It was concluded that numerical methods are useful in order to solve engineering complex problems. For constant k and h, the experimental methodology used here can be used as a tool for teaching heat transfer in mechanical engineering, using mathematical simplified models with analytical solutions.

Keywords: Engineering Education, Finite Difference, Thermal Conductivity, Heat transfer experiment

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