Pin fin arrays are commonly found in heat exchangers, turbine blades, and electronic heat sinks. Fin arrays are extended surfaces that are used as turbulence promoters by inducing horseshoe vortex (HSV) and von Karman vortex (KV) structures. The horseshoe vortex are primarily studied in the leading edge of the blunt body, whereas the KV are formed in the trailing side. This study presents an experimental investigation of flow field structures and pressure loss on staggered pin fin array in the wake region, where KV are dominate. These flow structures increase the local levels turbulence and generate eddies that promote flow mixing, which in turn allows for higher levels of heat transfer. Improvement in heat transfer can increase the efficiency of the heat exchanger by reducing the thermal load and stress on the components which can extended product life. A study of the vortex shedding using a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique is used to measure flow field using a closed loop vertical water tunnel. A Time Resolved Particle Image Velocimetry (TR-PIV) study for both steady and unsteady flow structures in the fully developed region of a pin fin array at multiple wall normal cross sections are performed. The pin fin array consists of circular pin fins with 8 rows of 7.5 pins in rectangular channel with Reynolds number varying from 10,000 to 20,000. The Pin array is in a staggered configuration with stream wise (Y/D) spacing of 2.5 and span wise (X/D) spacing of 2.5, and height to pin diameter (H/D) of 2. A supplemental computation fluid dynamic (CFD) study is also for comparison with the PIV flow field. The goal of the present study is to determine the major vortex structures that found the flow at different Z/D, quantify parameters that numerical methods are unable to solve, and provide a base line for other parameters that can be used to improve the accuracy of numerical models. The novelty of this work is to provide data and characterize the near the viscous sub layer of Z/D =0.


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Graduation Date





Kapat, Jayanta


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Thermofluids









Release Date

August 2019

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)