Convective coolant heat transfer in internal combustion engines

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Simple heat transfer correlations are known to underpredict the single-phase convective heat transfer coefficient when applied to internal combustion (IC) engine cooling passages. The reasons for such underprediction were investigated using a specially designed test rig which was operated under a wide variety of test conditions relevant to IC engine operation. Data from this rig study identified that undeveloped flow (fluid dynamically and thermally), surface roughness and fluid viscosity variation with temperature were the physical reasons responsible for the mismatch. Simple empirical heat transfer models have subsequently been extended to take account of these factors and are shown to give much improved correlation with rig data, and data from an engine study. The implications of this work for predicting engine heat transfer in a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics environment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Viscosity
  • Heat convection
  • Surface roughness
  • Automobile engines
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Heat transfer coefficients
  • Coolants
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Cooling
  • Correlation methods


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