Visualization of transport across a horizontal vent due to density and pressure differences

Yogesh Jaluria, S. H K Lee, G. P. Mercier, Q. Tan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


A very important flow and transport circumstance that arises in practical problems such as enclosure fires is that of heat and mass transfer across a horizontal vent. Such vents exist in enclosed regions such as rooms and energy storage and ventilation systems. It is important to understand the basic nature of the transport processes that arise because of finite, nonzero density and pressure differences that usually exist across such vents. The flow is driven by these two mechanisms and very complicated flow patterns arise, depending on the governing variables in the problem. For instance, a dominant pressure effect results in a unidirectional flow, whereas significant buoyancy effects lead to a bidirectional flow exchange. The heat and mass transfer associated with the flow is similarly strongly influenced by the flow regime. There is a strong need for visualization to determine if a unidirectional or a bidirectional flow exists across the vent and to study the basic characteristics of the transport processes involved. This paper presents a study of this heat and mass transfer problem employing water and air as the fluid media for two different experimental systems. Pure and saline water are used in the first case to obtain the unstably stratified circumstance with a pressure difference across the vent. Air at different temperature levels is used in the second case. A laser sheet, with smoke, is used for visualization in air and a shadowgraph for water. Other visualization techniques are also used to obtain qualitative and quantitative results on the flow direction, transport rates and the relevant mechanisms. Since transient effects are important in many cases, video recordings are employed to obtain the frequency of observed oscillations in the transport and for determining the transition from one regime to the other. Visualization is crucial to the understanding of these processes and to the determination of the transport regime under various operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVisualization of Heat Transfer Processes
PublisherPubl by ASME
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)0791811654
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993
Event29th National Heat Transfer Conference - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Aug 8 1993Aug 11 1993


Other29th National Heat Transfer Conference
CityAtlanta, GA, USA


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

Cite this

Jaluria, Y., Lee, S. H. K., Mercier, G. P., & Tan, Q. (1993). Visualization of transport across a horizontal vent due to density and pressure differences. In Visualization of Heat Transfer Processes (Vol. 252, pp. 65-81). Publ by ASME.