Development of a Methodology to Measure Aerodynamic Forces on Pin Fins in Channel Flow
The desire for smaller, faster, and more efficient products places a strain on thermal management in components ranging from gas turbine blades to computers. Heat exchangers that utilize internal cooling flows have shown promise in both of these industries. Although pin fins are often placed in the cooling channels to augment heat transfer, their addition comes at the expense of increased pressure drop. Consequently, the pin fin geometry must be judiciously chosen to achieve the desired heat transfer rate while minimizing the pressure drop and accompanying pumping requirements.
This project culminates in the construction of a new test facility and the development of a unique force measurement methodology. Direct force measurement is achieved with a cantilever beam force sensor that uses sensitive piezoresistive strain gauges to simultaneously measure aerodynamic lift and drag forces on a pin fin. After eliminating the detrimental environmental influences, forces as small as one-tenth the weight of a paper clip are successfully measured.
Although the drag of an infinitely long cylinder in uniform cross flow is well documented, the literature does not discuss the aerodynamic forces on a cylinder with an aspect ratio of unity in channel flow. Measured results indicate that the drag coefficient of a cylindrical pin in a single row array is greater than the drag coefficient of an infinite cylinder in cross flow. This phenomenon is believed to be caused by an augmentation of viscous drag on the pin fin induced by the increased viscous effects inherent in channel flow.