Effect of the Addition of Graphene Nanoplatelets on the Thermal Conductivity of Rocket Kerosene: A Molecular Dynamics Study
XD Guo and XJ Chen and JP Zhao and WJ Zhou and JJ Wei, MATERIALS, 15, 5511 (2022).
Rocket kerosene plays an important role in the regenerative cooling process of rocket thrust chambers. Its thermal conductivity determines the cooling efficiency and the tendency to coke in rocket kerosene engines. In this paper, graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) were introduced into rocket kerosene to improve its thermal conductivity. Molecular dynamics simulation was used to investigate the thermal conductivity of the composite system and its underlying thermal conductivity mechanism. Firstly, by studying the effect of the mass fraction of GNPs, it was found that, when the graphene mass fraction increases from 1.14% to 6.49%, the thermal conductivity of the composite system increases from 4.26% to 17.83%, which can be explained by the percolation theory. Secondly, the influence of the size of GNPs on the thermal conductivity of the composite system was studied. Basically, the thermal conductivity was found to increase by increasing the aspect ratio of GNPs, indicating that GNPs with a higher aspect ratio are more conducive to improving the thermal conductivity of rocket kerosene. By carefully analyzing the effect of the size of GNPs on thermal conductivity, it was concluded that the thermal conduction enhancement by adding GNPs is determined by the combined effect of the percolation theory and the Brownian motion. The results of the temperature effect study showed that the ratio of thermal conductivity to rocket kerosene increased from 1.16 to 1.26 and from 1.07 to 1.11 for the composite systems, with graphene sizes of 41.18 angstrom x 64.00 angstrom and 24.14 angstrom x 17.22 angstrom in the temperature range of 293 K to 343 K, respectively. It is further proved that the Brownian motion of GNPs has a non-negligible effect on the thermal conductivity of the composite system. This work provides microscopic insights into the thermal conduction mechanism of GNPs in nanofluids and will offer practical guidance for improving the thermal conductivity of rocket kerosene.
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