Nanofluids are nano-size-powder suspensions in liquids that are of interest for their enhanced thermal transport properties. They are studied as promising alternatives as compared to ordinary cooling fluids, but the effects of nanofluids on wall materials are largely unknown. The authors developed an instrument that uses a low-speed jet on material targets to test such effects.
The work is presented of the authors’ experimental research on the early interactions of selected nanofluids (2% weight of alumina nanopowders in distilled water, and in solutions of ethylene glycol in water) with aluminum and copper samples as typical cooling-system materials. The observed surface changes (and possible nanoparticle deposition) for test periods as long as 14 hours were assessed by roughness and volumetric-removal wear measurements, and by microscope studies. Comparative roughness measurements indicate that alumina nanofluids in water and ethylene glycol solutions can start surface changes on aluminum surfaces, but show no effects on copper for the same testing conditions. These investigations set a baseline for further research and provide a suitable method for the testing of nanofluids effects in cooling system-materials.