The heat transfer characteristics of a mesoscale continuous oscillatory flow crystalliser with smooth periodic constrictions

I.I. Onyemelukwe, Brahim Benyahia, Nuno M. Reis, Zoltan K. Nagy, Chris D. Reilly

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The heat transfer performance of a 5 mm internal diameter (I.D.) mesoscale continuous oscillatory flow crystalliser with smooth periodic constrictions (herein called SPC meso-tube) is herein reported for the first time for both steady flow and unsteady oscillatory flow conditions. Experimental values of the tube-side Nusselt number,
, accompanied by an estimability analysis, emphasized the key role played by smooth constrictions and bulk flow velocity in controlling tube-side heat transfer, while revealing a weaker influence of oscillatory flow on heat transfer enhancement in the SPC meso-tube. Although the presence of smooth constrictions provided an increased surface area to volume (SAV) ratio, and recirculation zones which promoted heat transfer rates, a maximum 1.7-fold heat transfer augmentation was obtained when fluid oscillations were combined with smooth constrictions. The behaviour of the SPC meso-tube was such that increasing the net flow Reynolds number,
, from 11 up to 54 with the combination of smooth constrictions and oscillatory flow resulted in the attainment of higher rates of heat transfer up to a maximum
of 3.09. The Strouhal number,
, was also found to have a more significant effect on the heat transfer performance than oscillatory frequency,
. An empirical correlation was for the first time developed to describe the heat transfer characteristics of the SPC meso-tube, and predict
based on experimental data for the range of net flow and oscillatory flow conditions investigated. A parameter estimability approach was also implemented to enhance the prediction capability of the correlation. The approach was based on a sequential orthogonalisation, thanks to which the most influential factors affecting the tube-side heat transfer were identified given the available experimental data. Overall, the results accentuate the efficient heat transfer capabilities of the SPC meso-tube in the laminar flow regime, and its suitability for performing cooling crystallisations where tight temperature control of supersaturation is essential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1119
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Early online date27 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Empirical correlation
  • Flow crystallisation
  • Heat transfer
  • Mesoscale
  • Oscillatory flow
  • Smooth periodic constrictions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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