The existing constant heat flux boundary condition flow regime maps are accurate for high Prandtl number fluids, however, they are inaccurate at lower Prandtl numbers and tube diameters and specifically for water as the working fluid. The purpose of this paper was to develop a flow regime map that can be used for both high and low Prandtl number fluids for a wide range of tube diameters. Furthermore, not only to develop a map for fully developed flow, but also for developing flow. An experimental set-up was designed, built and validated against results from literature. Two smooth circular test sections with inner diameters of 4 mm and 11.5 mm, respectively, and lengths of 5.5 m and 9.5 m, respectively, were used. Heat transfer measurements were taken at a range of Reynolds numbers from laminar to turbulent. Water was used as the test fluid and the Prandtl number was limited between 3 and 7. Experimental results from literature complemented the test matrix used for this study, especially with high Prandtl number data. Six flow regime maps were developed for a constant heat flux boundary condition and a square-edged inlet, and these flow regime maps are original for four reasons. Firstly, it contains contour lines that show the Nusselt number enhancements due to free convection effects. Secondly, it is valid for a wide range of tube diameters and Prandtl numbers. Thirdly, the flow regime maps were developed as a function of temperature difference (Grashof number) and heat flux (modified Grashof number). Finally, four of the six flow regime maps are not only valid for fully developed flow, but also developing flow.
This work was produced as part of a PhD in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pretoria by the first author, under the supervision of the second author. (http://hdl.handle.net/2263/44245)