A comprehensive experimental study was performed to determine entrance region and fully developed heat transfer coefficients, pressure distributions and friction factors, and patterns of fluid flow in periodically converging and diverging tubes. The investigated tubes consisted of a succession of alternately converging and diverging conical sections (i.e., modules) placed end to end. Systematic variations were made in the Reynolds number, the taper angle of the converging and diverging modules, and the module aspect ratio. Flow visualizations were performed using the oil-lampblack technique. A performance analysis comparing periodic tubes and conventional straight tubes was made using the experimentally determined heat transfer coefficients and friction factors as input. For equal mass flow rate and equal transfer surface area, there are large enhancements of the heat transfer coefficient for periodic tubes, with accompanying large pressure drops. For equal pumping power and equal transfer surface area, enhancements in the 30–60 percent range were encountered. These findings indicate that periodic converging-diverging tubes possess favorable enhancement characteristics.

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