Research ArticleENGINEERING

Vibration-induced boundary-layer destabilization achieves massive heat-transport enhancement

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Science Advances  22 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 21, eaaz8239
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8239


Thermal turbulence is well known as a potent means to convey heat across space by a moving fluid. The existence of the boundary layers near the plates, however, bottlenecks its heat-exchange capability. Here, we conceptualize a mechanism of thermal vibrational turbulence that breaks through the boundary-layer limitation and achieves massive heat-transport enhancement. When horizontal vibration is applied to the convection cell, a strong shear is induced to the body of fluid near the conducting plates, which destabilizes thermal boundary layers, vigorously triggers the eruptions of thermal plumes, and leads to a heat-transport enhancement by up to 600%. We further reveal that such a vibration-induced shear can very efficiently disrupt the boundary layers. The present findings open a new avenue for research into heat transport and will also bring profound changes in many industrial applications where thermal flux through a fluid is involved and the mechanical vibration is usually inevitable.

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