Author Identifier

Kanishk Rauthan

ORCID : 0000-0002-6629-6559

Ana Vafadar

ORCID : 0000-0002-7697-6443

Kevin Hayward

ORCID : 0000-0002-9756-8174

Aakash Shaun Hurry

ORCID : 0000-0002-0087-2058

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title





School of Engineering




Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021

Edith Cowan University


Rauthan, K., Guzzomi, F., Vafadar, A., Hayward, K., & Hurry, A. (2021). Experimental investigation of pressure drop performance of smooth and dimpled single plate-fin heat exchangers. Metals, 11(11), article 1757.


Passive heat exchangers (HXs) form an inseparable part of the manufacturing industry as they provide high-efficiency cooling at minimal overhead costs. Along with the aspects of high thermal cooling, it is essential to monitor pressure loss while using plate-fin HXs because pressure loss can introduce additional power costs to a system. In this paper, an experimental study was conducted to look at the effects of dimples on the pressure drop characteristics of single plate-fin heat exchangers. To enable this, different configurations of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) fins with smooth surfaces and 2 mm-diameter dimples, 4 mm-diameter dimples and 6 mm-diameter dimples were designed and 3D printed using fused deposition modelling (FDM) of ABS plastic. The depth to diameter ratio for these dimples was kept constant at 0.3 with varied diameters and depths. These were then tested using a subsonic wind tunnel comprised of inlet and outlet pressure taps as well as a hot wire velocimeter. Measurements were taken for pressure differences as well as average velocity. These were then used to calculate friction factor values and to compare the smooth fin to the dimpled fins in relation to their relative pressure drop performance. It was observed that for lower velocities the 4 mm dimples provided minimum pressure drop, with a difference of 58% when compared to smooth fins. At higher velocities, 6 mm dimples increased the pressure drop by approximately 34% when compared to smooth fins. It can also be concluded from the observed data in this study that shallower dimples produce lower pressure drops compared to deeper dimples when the depth to diameter ratio is kept constant. Accordingly, deeper dimples are more effective in providing drag reduction at lower velocities, whereas shallower dimples are more effective for drag reduction at higher velocities.



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