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Numerical studies of nanofluid boundary layer flows using spectral methods.

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This thesis is focused on numerical studies of heat and mass transport processes that occur in nanofluid boundary layer flows. We investigate heat and mass transfer mechanisms in the flow of a micropolar nanofluid above a stretching sheet, the squeezed nanofluid flow between two parallel plates and the impact of activation energy and binary chemical reaction on nanofluid flow past a rotating disk. We present an analysis of entropy generation in nanofluid flow past a rotating disk and nanofluid flow past a stretching surface under the influence of an inclined magnetic field. This study aims to numerically determine to a high degree of accuracy, how nanoparticles can be utilized to alter heat and transport properties of base fluids in order to enhance or achieve desirable properties for thermal systems. The heat and mass transfer processes that feature in nanofluid boundary layer flow are described by complex nonlinear transport equations which are difficult to solve. Because of the complex nature of the constitutive equations describing the flow of nanofluids, finding analytic solutions has often proved intractable. In this study, the model equations are solved using the spectral quasilinearization method. This method is relatively recent and has not been adequately utilized by researchers in solving related problems. The accuracy and reliability of the method are tested through convergence error and residual error analyses. The accuracy is further tested through a comparison of results for limiting cases with those in the literature. The results confirm the spectral quasilinearization method as being accurate, efficient, rapidly convergent and suited for solving boundary value problems. In addition, among other findings, we show that nanofluid concentration enhances heat and mass transfer rates while the magnetic field reduces the velocity distribution. The fluid flows considered in this study have significant applications in science, engineering and technology. The findings will contribute to expanding the existing knowledge on nanofluid flow.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg