Heat and Mass Transfer

How can heat and mass transfer be enhanced by combining surface structure, wettability, external forces and fluid-to-surface motion?

Heat transfer enhancement is a key to the further development of many components and processes in numerous application areas such as material processing, micro reaction technology, cooling of high power electronics etc. The technologies in these areas are mainly driven by component size reduction, increased power densities and extreme operating environments, all being unabating trends.

To meet these future demands the basic approaches of research at TFI go beyond conventional methods and technologies for an incremental enhancement. The overall objective is to achieve leaps of enhancement by cleverly combining surface structure, wettability, external forces and fluid-to-surface motion, i.e. creating Smart Interfaces tailored individually towards specific applications.

The PIs and scientists of TFI address e.g. the following research topics in a project-oriented manner:

  • molecular dynamic modeling to compute interfacial transport and contact line evaporation
  • mathematical and numerical methods for multiphase heat transfer
  • temperature measurement at interfaces; prediction and increase of critical heat flux
  • high-speed cutting with structured cutting tools
  • microcombustion with fuel pre-evaporation
  • spray cooling and spray deposition
  • film evaporation and condensation
  • high performance heat pipes
  • near-wall convective heat transfer

In each of these topics specific short and medium-term objectives, milestones and sometimes demonstrators are defined. A general long-term objective is the possibility of active heat flux switching by means of active and reversible surface manipulation.