1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Convection and Thermal Resistance

  1. Nov 23, 2011 #1
    I have a question....

    Suppose you have a thin and long rectangular piece of aluminum.

    You heat one end (pt A). The thermal resistance (steady state) from one end (pt A) to the other (pt B) would be

    Where W= Watts of heat energy.
    ΔT = temperature of ptA - temperature of ptB

    Now suppose you expose ptB to significant convection, cooling it down and letting the system reach steady state.

    Would the thermal resistance be different? Or is it constant?

    I'm just confused conceptually.

    I can easily argue both ways. I'm on the fence.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2011 #2
    Really? No replies?
  4. Nov 29, 2011 #3
    thermal resistance is a material property...so, depending on the material and the operating conditions you are interested in, you may consider its value a constant (if it does not vary much) or may have keep track of it if it varies significantly with temperature.

    for your aluminum rod, with a temperature differential between one end and the other one...you probably have different thermal resistance values along the entire length...sure, you can always estimate a total, lumped value for it by taking dT/W.
  5. Nov 29, 2011 #4
    Thanks, thats what I expected. So in the case of extreme convection, the aluminum rod temperature will steady (if convection continues unchanged) such that the ΔT/W will be constant.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook