An experimental study of the generation and characteristics of a two-layer thermally stable environment

K. Kapoor, Y. Jaluria

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An experimental system has been developed to generate a thermally stratified, two-layer, environment in an enclosure, with air as the fluid. Such a stably stratified circumstance, in which an essentially isothermal heated layer overlies a relatively cooler isothermal layer, frequently arises in several practical problems such as those related to heat rejection, heat transfer from isolated thermal sources in confined regions, and enclosure fires. A detailed study of the thermal field is carried out to determine the basic characteristics of the stratified environment and the dependence of the physical parameters such as interface location and temperature level on the governing variables. The location of the interface, between the two layers can be controlled by varying the temperature and the velocity of the heated fluid discharged at the top of the enclosure for stratifying the enclosed region. It is found that the interface moves down as the Richardson number Ri, based on the conditions of the heated air entering at the top of enclosure, is increased. The stratification can be maintained essentially constant with time. Also, the temperature levels in the two zones can be varied over fairly wide ranges to simulate practical circumstances. The nature of such a stably stratified region is studied, particularly the effect of the inflow and outlet conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-764
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1988


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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