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Latest developments on the viscosity of nanouids

I.M. Mahbubul, R. Saidur

, M.A. Amalina
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 24 June 2011
Received in revised form 7 October 2011
Accepted 7 October 2011
Available online 27 October 2011
Keywords:
Nanouid
Viscosity
Temperature
Particle size
Volume concentration
a b s t r a c t
The past decade has seen the rapid development of nanouids science in many aspects. Number of
research is conducted that is mostly focused on the thermal conductivity of these uids. However, nano-
uid viscosity also deserves the same attention as thermal conductivity. In this paper, different charac-
teristics of viscosity of nanouids including nanouid preparation methods, temperature, particle size
and shape, and volume fraction effects are thoroughly compiled and reviewed. Furthermore, a precise
review on theoretical models/correlations of conventional models related to nanouid viscosity is pre-
sented. The existing experimental results about the nanouids viscosity show clearly that viscosity aug-
mented accordingly with an increase of volume concentration and decreased with the temperature rise.
However, there are some contradictory results on the effects of temperature on viscosity. Moreover, it is
shown that particle size has some noteworthy effects over viscosity of nanouids.
2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Nanouid is a new dimensional thermo uid term emerged
after the pioneering work by Choi [1]. Nanouid is a solidliquid
mixture which consists of nanoparticles and a base liquid. Nano-
particles are basically metal (Cu, Ni, Al, etc.), oxides (Al
2
O
3
, TiO
2
,
CuO, SiO
2
, Fe
2
O
3
, Fe
3
O
4
, BaTiO
3
, etc.) and some other compounds
(AlN, SiC, CaCO
3
, graphene, etc.) and base uids usually include
water, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, engine oil, etc. Due to very
small sizes and large specic surface areas of the nanoparticles,
nanouids have superior properties like high thermal conductivity,
minimal clogging in ow passages, long-term stability, and homo-
geneity [2]. Conventional uids such as ethylene glycol (EG), water
and oil have poor heat transfer properties but their vast applica-
tions in power generation, chemical processes, heating and cooling
processes, transportation, electronics, automotive and other micro-
sized applications make the re-processing of those thermo uids to
have better heat transfer properties quite essential.
Viscosity describes the internal resistance of a uid to ow and
it is an important property for all thermal applications involving
uids [3]. The pumping power is related with the viscosity of a
uid. In laminar ow, the pressure drop is directly proportional
to the viscosity. Furthermore, convective heat transfer coefcient
is inuenced by viscosity. Hence, viscosity is as important as ther-
mal conductivity in engineering systems involving uid ow [4].
There has been a lot of research done about nanouids recently
but most of them are related with the heat transfer properties
having different contents including heat transfer enhancement
[57], thermal conductivity measurement [810], thermal conduc-
tivity enhancement [1121], effective thermal conductivity [22
28], thermal conductivity of suspensions [2931], thermal proper-
ties enhancement [32], thermal transport [33], thermal conductiv-
ity improvement [34], estimation of thermal conductivity [35], and
others [3642]. Some review papers [43,44] emphasized only the
thermal conductivity of nanouids. Recently some new issues have
been introduced in literatures like thermal diffusion coefcient of
nanouid [45], slip mechanisms in nanouids [46], electrical con-
ductivity of nanouids [47], nanouids for cooling of electronic de-
vices [48]. Very few researches have been performed on the
viscosity of nanouids although viscosity seems to be a signicant
property and viscosity should be taken into consideration for heat
transfer performance studies of a nanouid [49,50].
Some articles have been published considering rheological
behavior of nanouids such as viscosity. First, Masuda et al. [51]
measured the viscosity of some water-based nanouids for Al
2
O
3
,
SiO
2
and TiO
2
. Then Pak and Cho [52] presented some additional
data for Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid. Some parameters like, tempera-
ture, particle size and shape, volume concentrations have shown
to have a great effect over viscosity of nanouid. Murshed et al.
[53] measured the volumetric effect on viscosity for Al
2
O
3
and
TiO
2
with deionized water (DIW) and concluded that viscosity in-
creases about 82% and 86%, respectively, for 5 vol.% of Al
2
O
3
and
TiO
2
. Chen et al. [54] measured the volume fraction and tempera-
ture effects on viscosity for multi walled carbon nanotubes
(MWCNTs) with distilled water for a temperature range of 5 C
to 65 C. They reported that viscosity increases accordingly with
nanoparticle loadings when the volume fraction is higher than
0017-9310/$ - see front matter 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2011.10.021

Corresponding author. Tel.: +60 3 79674462; fax: +60 3 79675317.


E-mail addresses: saidur@um.edu.my, saidur912@yahoo.com (R. Saidur).
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885
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0.4 vol.%. Also, relative viscosity increases signicantly with tem-
perature after 55 C. But, Prasher et al. [55] and Chen et al.
[56,57] have presented a contradictory report including that nano-
uid viscosity is independent of temperature. He et al. [58] mea-
sured TiO
2
-distilled water nanouid viscosity for different
concentrations and for three different particle sizes and stated that
viscosity increases with the increase of particle size as well as the
increase in volume concentrations. However, some others [5961]
found that viscosity decreases with the increase of particle size.
Prasher et al. [55] reported that, nanouid viscosity is not a strong
function of nanoparticle diameter. Table 1 shows a list including
investigations about temperature, particle size and volume con-
centration effects over viscosity of nanouids.
Available literature shows that most of the researches done
mainly consider the volume concentration effect on viscosity and
few literatures discussed these three effects for viscosity,
yet along with some contradictions among them. No review paper
is available that would include all temperature, particle size and
volume concentration effects over viscosity of a nanouid. Some
review papers discussed the viscosity of nanouid but actually
emphasized the thermal conductivity of nanouids plus they did
not discuss all the aspects of viscosity of these uids. Studies like
that by Ghadimi et al. [62] discussed the analytical model, Daung-
thongsuk and Wongwises [63] and Keblinski et al. [64] emphasized
viscosity for convective heat transfer, Das et al. [65] mentioned the
importance of studying the viscosity of nanouids, and Murshed et
al. [66] emphasized the volumetric concentration effect on viscos-
ity. In a review paper, Ramesh and Prabhu [67] summarize some
papers in a single paragraph about viscosity of nanouids. Also,
Sridhara and Satapathy brief about the viscosity of some Al
2
O
3
based nanouids [68]. A comparison of viscosity enhancement
for some nanouids has been reported in literature [69], which
are not sufcient. Therefore, a complete study considering all as-
pects of the viscosity of a nanouid seems to be required in this
eld. The purpose of this article is to provide the available informa-
tion about temperature, particle diameter and volume concentra-
tion effects over viscosity of a nanouid.
In the subsequent sections preparation methods used by the
researchers, experimental results concerning temperature, parti-
cle size and volume fraction effects on viscosity, theoretical
models (including conventional model of viscosity for suspen-
sions) and correlations for volume concentrations, temperature
and particle diameter for viscosity have been described
consecutively.
Table 1
Summary of literatures about the viscosity of nanouids for different parameters.
Year Reference Base uid Particle name (diameter in nm) Related to:
T D V%
1999 Wang et al. [70] DW, EG Al
2
O
3
(28)
_
2002 Chadwick et al. [71] EG TiO
2
(600)
_
2002 Tseng and Wu [72] Water Al
2
O
3
(37)
_
2003 Tseng and Lin [73] Ethanolisopropanol BaTiO
3
(580)
_
2003 Tseng and Chen [74] Terpineol Ni (300)
_
2003 Tseng and Lin [75] Water TiO
2
(720)
_
2005 Kwak and Kim [76] EG CuO (12)
_
2005 Yang et al. [77] ATF and synthetic base oils Graphite (thickness = 2040)
_
2006 Prasher et al. [55] PG Al
2
O
3
(27, 40 and 50)
_ _ _
2007 Chen et al. [56] EG TiO
2
(25)
_ _
2007 Chen et al. [57] EG TiO
2
(25)
_ _
2007 Chevalier et al. [59] Ethanol SiO
2
(35, 94 and 190)
_ _
2007 He et al. [58] DW TiO
2
(95, 145 and 210)
_ _
2007 Namburu et al. [78] EGW (60:40) CuO (29)
_ _
2007 Namburu et al. [60] EGW (60:40) SiO
2
(20, 50 and 100)
_ _ _
2007 Nguyen et al. [3] Water Al
2
O
3
(36 and 47), CuO (29)
_ _ _
2008 Chen et al. [54] DW, EG and Gly CNTs (15)
_ _
2008 Chen et al. [79] DW TNT (-10)
_ _
2008 Garg et al. [80] EG Cu (200)
_
2008 Lu and Fan [81] Water, EG Al
2
O
3
(10 and above)
_ _
2008 Murshed et al. [53] DIW TiO
2
(15), Al
2
O
3
(80)
_
2008 Nguyen et al. [82] Water Al
2
O
3
(36 and 47)
_ _ _
2008 Schmidt et al. [83] Decane Al
2
O
3
(40)
_ _
2008 Schmidt et al. [83] Iso-parafnic PAO Al
2
O
3
(40)
_ _
2008 Tsai et al. [84] Diesel oil and polydimethylsiloxane Fe
3
O
4
(10)
_
2009 Anoop et al. [85] Water Al
2
O
3
(45 and 150)
_ _
2009 Anoop et al. [86] Water Al
2
O
3
(95, 100)
_ _
2009 Anoop et al. [86] EG Al
2
O
3
(100), CuO (152)
_ _
2009 Chen et al. [87] EG TNT (-10), L = 100 nm
_ _
2009 Chen et al. [88] EG, water TNT (-10), TiO
2
(25)
_
2009 Duangthongsuk and Wongwises [89] Water TiO
2
(21)
_ _
2009 Kulkarni et al. [90] EGW (60:40) CuO (30), Al
2
O
3
(45), SiO
2
(50)
_ _
2009 Phuoc and Massoudi [91] DIW Fe
2
O
3
(20, 40)
_
2009 Turgut et al. [92] DW TiO
2
(21)
_ _
2010 Chandrasekar et al. [2] Water Al
2
O
3
(43)
_
2010 Kole and Dey [4] Car engine coolant Al
2
O
3
(<50)
_ _
2010 Duangthongsuk and Wongwises [93] Water TiO
2
(21)
_ _
2010 Naik et al. [94] PGwater CuO (<50)
_ _
2010 Zhu et al. [95] DW CaCO
3
(2050)
_
2011 Lee et al. [96] DW SiC (<100)
_ _
2011 Pastoriza-Gallego et al. [61] Water CuO (2337, 11 3)
_ _ _
2011 Phuoc et al. [97] Water MWCNTs (2030)
_
Note: ATF, Gly, PAO, and W refer to automatic transmission uid, glycerol, polyalphaolen, and water respectively. And, D, T and V% means diameter, temperature and vol.%
effect.
I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885 875
2. Preparation methods
Preparation of nanouids is quite of importance to be known for
measuring viscosity of nanouids since particle agglomeration de-
pends on the preparation method of a nanouid. Nanouids prep-
aration is not as simple as mixing some solid nanoparticles in a
base uid. There are two techniques mainly used for synthesizing
nanouids: single step method and two step method.
In a single step method [27,98], both preparation of nanoparti-
cles and synthesis of nanouids are done in a combined process.
Normally, physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique [27] or liquid
chemical method [98] is used for single step method. This method
has advantages such as stability increase and minimized agglomer-
ation. There are some disadvantages like the fact that only low
pressure uids are suitable for this process hence limiting the
scope of utilization.
In two step method [99,100], nanoparticles are initially pre-
pared and then dispersed into the uid by some techniques like
high shear [52,101] and ultrasound [102]. Nowadays, availability
of nanoparticles from commercial sources makes this method
fairly attractive to the researchers and different industries. In addi-
tion, this method functions suitably for oxide nanoparticles. But
particles quickly agglomerate before dispersion and sometimes
nanoparticles disperse partially. Table 2 shows typical synthesis
method used by the researchers.
Most of the researches utilized two step dispersion method and
ultrasonic vibrations for proper mixtures and some used chemical
reduction methods [80].
Wang et al. [70] analyzed relative viscosity of Al
2
O
3
water
nanouids with three different dispersion methods including
mechanical blending (method 1), coating particles with polymers
(method 2), and ltration (method 3). They reported that method
1 leads to higher viscosity compared with others indicating that
other two methods caused better dispersion.
3. Experimental studies
3.1. Effect of temperature
Some literature is available about the temperature effect over
nanouids viscosity. Yang et al. [77] experimentally measured
temperature effect of viscosity with four temperatures (35, 43,
50 and 70 C) for four nanouid solutions taking graphite as nano-
particles. They experimentally showed that kinematic viscosity de-
creases with the increase of temperature and interesting
observations were made such as: the corresponding viscosity of
2 wt% graphite with ATF at 35 and 70 C is found to be 41.4 and
12.2 (cSt) respectively. Chen et al. [54] measured the temperature
effect of multi walled carbon nanotubes with distilled water for a
temperature range of 5 C to 65 C and indicated that relative vis-
cosity increases signicantly with temperature after 55 C. Nguyen
et al. [3,82] studied temperature effect of nanouids viscosity for
Al
2
O
3
water and CuOwater over a temperature range of 21 C
to 75 C. The authors reported that nanouids viscosity decreases
with the increase of temperature. Anoop et al. [86] studied the
viscosity of CuOethylene glycol, Al
2
O
3
ethylene glycol and
Table 2
Different synthesis process used in the literatures.
Base uid Particle name (diameter in nm) Particle fraction (vol.%) Synthesis process Reference
DW, EG Al
2
O
3
(28) 16 Two-step [70]
Water Al
2
O
3
(37) 0.010.16 Two-step [72]
Water Al
2
O
3
(131.2), CuO (87.3) 1, 2 and 4 Two-step [103]
Ethanol-isopropanol BaTiO
3
(580) 3060 Two-step [73]
Terpineol Ni (300) 310 Two-step [74]
Water TiO
2
(720) 512 Two-step [75]
EG CuO (12) 0.002 Two-step [76]
PG Al
2
O
3
(27,40 & 50) 0.5, 2 and 3 Two-step [55]
EG TiO
2
(25) 08 wt% Two-step [56]
EG TiO
2
(25) 0.1, 0.21, 0.42, 0.86 and 1.86 Two-step [57]
Ethanol SiO
2
(35,94 &190) 1.47 Two-step [59]
DW TiO
2
(20) 0.024, 0.6, 1.18 Two-step [58]
EG-W(60:40) CuO (29) 06.12 Two-step [78]
EG-W(60:40) SiO
2
(20,50 & 100) 010 Two-step [60]
DW, EG and Gly. CNTs (15) 0.002, 0.006, 0.01 Two-step [54]
DW TNT (-10) 0.12, 0.24 and 0.6 Two-step [79]
EG Cu (200) 0.42 Single-step [80]
Water, EG Al
2
O
3
(10 & above) 5 Two-step [81]
DIW and EG TiO
2
(15), Al
2
O
3
(80 & 150) 15 Two-step [53]
Decane and iso-parafnic PAO Al
2
O
3
(40) 0.251 Two-step [83]
Diesel oil and polydimethylsiloxane Fe
3
O
4
(10) 14.48 Two-step [84]
Water Al
2
O
3
(45&150) 1, 2, 4, 6 wt% Two-step [85]
Water, EG Al
2
O
3
(95, 100) 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 6 Two-step [86]
EG CuO (152) 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 6 Two-step [86]
EG TNT (-10), L = 100 nm 08% mass Two-step [87]
EG, Water TNT (-10), L = 100, TiO
2
(25) 01.8 Two-step [88]
Water MWCNTs (1020) 1 wt% Two-step [104]
EG-W(60:40) CuO (30), Al
2
O
3
(45), SiO
2
(50) 06.12 Two-step [90]
DIW Fe
2
O
3
(20, 40) 0.2 wt% Two-step [91]
DIW TiO
2
(21) 0.23 Two-step [92]
Water Al
2
O
3
(43) 0.335 Two-step [2]
Car engine coolant Al
2
O
3
(<50) 0.1, 0.4, 0.7, 1.0 and 1.5 Two-step [4]
DW CNT 0.10.5 wt% Two-step [105]
Water MWCNTs Single-step [106]
PG-water CuO (<50) 0.025, 0.1, 0.4, 0.8, 1 and 1.25 Two-step [94]
DW CaCO
3
(2050) 0.124.11 Two-step [95]
DW SiC (<100) 0.001, 0.1, 1, 2 and 3 Two-step [96]
Water CuO (2337, 11 3) 0.0510 wt% Single-step, Two-step [61]
Water MWCNTs (2030), L = 1030 lm 0.241.43 Two-step [97]
EG, PG AlN (50) 110 Two-step [100]
876 I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885
Al
2
O
3
water for temperature range of 20 C to 50 C with a volume
concentration of 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 6 vol.%. They found that viscosity
reduces with an increase in temperature. From the temperature
based studies of Duangthongsuk and Wongwises [89] it was found
that viscosity of nanouids decreases with the increase of temper-
atures. They did the study with TiO
2
and water for a temperature
range of 1550 C. Turgut et al. [92] studied the thermal conductiv-
ity and viscosity of TiO
2
with deionized water for a temperature
range of 1355 C and for volume fraction of 0.23%. They discov-
ered that nanouids viscosity becomes less in amount with the in-
crease of temperature. Kole and Dey [4] investigated the viscosity
of a nanouid for alumina nanoparticle with car engine coolant for
a temperature range of 1050 C, with volume concentrations of
0.11.5% and found that nanouid viscosity decreases with the
augmentation of temperature. Pastoriza-Gallego et al. [61] mea-
sured the temperature effect on viscosity for CuO with water for
a temperature range of 283.15 K to 323.15 K. From their experi-
ment it is evident that, viscosity decreases with the increase of
temperature as at 323.15 K and the viscosity of 10 wt% CuO + W
nanouid becomes almost equal to the viscosity of water at
288.15 K. Also, Lee et al. [96] reported that viscosity decreases with
the increases of temperature. They studied SiC with distilled water
(DW) for 28 C to 72 C. Fig. 1 shows the decreasing trend of viscos-
ity with the rise in temperature.
Namburu et al. [60] showed that viscosity decreases exponen-
tially with the increasing temperature for a temperature range of
35 C to 50 C. They also found that at low temperature nano-
uids containing SiO
2
nanoparticles with ethylene glycol and water
as base uids demonstrate a non-Newtonian behavior and at high
temperature behave as a Newtonian uid. But in another study by
Namburu et al. [78] it was found that CuO nanoparticles in ethyl-
ene glycol and water mixture behave like Newtonian uids with
the temperature ranging from 35 C to 50 C with a volume frac-
tion of 06.12%. And viscosity decreases exponentially with the in-
crease of temperature. Similarly, Kulkarni et al. [90] report that
viscosity decreases exponentially with the increase of temperature,
where they analyzed CuO, Al
2
O
3
and SiO
2
as nanoparticle with EG/
Water base uid for a temperature range of 35 C to 50 C. Also,
Naik et al. [94] experimentally showed that viscosity of CuO/PG
water nanouids decreases exponentially with an increase in tem-
perature for a range of 258335 K. Fig. 2(a) and (b) shows the expo-
nential reduction in viscosity with the rise in temperature.
However results stated by Prasher et al. [55] and Chen et al.
[56,57] seem to be fairly contradictory indicating that nanouid
viscosity is independent of temperature. Fig. 3 shows this observa-
tion for relative viscosity being independent of temperature.
3.2. Effect of particle size and shape
There are few studies done on the particle size effect on the vis-
cosity of a nanouid. Nguyen et al. [3] studied particle size effect
for Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid and observed that particle size effects
are more signicant for high particle volume percentage. Their
studies exhibited that for low particle volume concentrations like,
below 4%, viscosities corresponding to 36 nm and 47 nm particle
size Al
2
O
3
/water nanouids are nearly equal. And for higher parti-
cle volume concentrations, viscosities of 36 nm particle size are
evidently lower than those of 47 nm size. In another literature,
Nguyen et al. [82] reported that viscosity values of 36 nm are
respectively 5% lower than the value of 47 nm particle-sizes. And
particle size effect is more signicant for a higher particle fraction,
say for 7% and 9%. Also, He et al. [58] report shear viscosity in-
creases with the increases of particle size. They measured TiO
2

distilled water nanouids viscosity for different concentrations


and for three different nanoparticles sizes (95,145, 210 nm).
Fig. 4 shows viscositys upward trend with the increase in particle
diameter.
However a contradictory result has been also found like that by
Lu and Fan [81]. They studied viscosity of Al
2
O
3
with water and Fig. 1. Viscosity decreases with the increase of temperature.
Fig. 2. Viscosity decreases exponentially with the increase of temperatures.
I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885 877
ethylene glycol for different sizes of nanoparticles both numeri-
cally (simplied molecular dynamic (MD) simulation) and experi-
mentally. They found that viscosity of nanouids decrease with
increasing the diameter of the particle. Also, for diameters more
than 30 nm, the change in shear viscosity is comparatively less.
Also, Anoop et al. [85] found the same results. Taking two particle
sizes of Al
2
O
3
45 nm and 150 nm for a particle concentration of 1,
2, 4 and 6 wt% with water they observed that viscosity increases
with the reduction of particle size. Chevalier et al. [59] measured
the viscosity of SiO
2
with ethanol for three different sizes of parti-
cle diameter as 35, 94, 190 nm and discovered that viscosity in-
creases with the decrease of particle size. Namburu et al. [60]
measured the particle size effect for three different sizes (20, 50,
100 nm) of SiO
2
nanoparticles and concluded that viscosity reduces
with the increase of particle size. Pastoriza-Gallego et al. [61] also
investigated the viscosity of CuO in water for different particle
sizes and volume concentrations. They used two different samples
of CuO of 2337 nm and other 11 3 nm diameter and measured
the viscosity of both samples for 010 wt% with temperature range
of 283.15323.15 K and realized that the sample containing smal-
ler size exhibits larger viscosity. Fig. 5 shows viscositys decreasing
trend with increasing particle size.
Also, a different report is available in a literature which shows
deviation from the above results. Prasher et al. [55] indicated that
nanouid viscosity is not an exact function of nanoparticle diame-
ter. They studied 27, 40 and 50 nm of Al
2
O
3
with propylene glycol
and saw that nanouid viscosity anomalously changes slightly
with particle diameter. Fig. 6 shows this result obtained from the
mentioned study.
There are very few results available in literature about particle
shape effect on viscosity of nanouids. However, viscosity of nano-
uids has a strong dependence with nanoparticle shape [107,108].
Timofeeva et al. [108] report that elongate particles like platelets
and cylinders result in higher viscosity at the same volume frac-
tion. And for lower viscosities spherical particles or lower aspect
ratio spheroids should be used.
3.3. Effect of volume fraction
Although there are some contradictions observed about tem-
perature and particle size effect on viscosity of nanouids, theres
Fig. 3. Relative viscosity independent of temperatures.
Fig. 4. Viscosity increases with the increase of particle size [58].
Fig. 5. Viscosity decreases with the increases of particle diameter [81].
878 I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885
no signicant contradiction seen about the volumetric concentra-
tion effects of a nanouid on its viscosity. All researchers and most
of the investigations available in the literature on the viscosity of
nanouids, regarding the effect of volume fraction agree upon
the fact that viscosity of nanouids increases with increasing the
volume fractions. Das et al. [109] and Putra et al. [103] proved
Newtonian behavior of Al
2
O
3
/water nanouid between 1% and 4%
particle (volume) concentration and showed that viscosity of nano-
uid increased with increasing the particle concentration. Prasher
et al. [55] showed that viscosity proportionally augments when the
nanoparticle volume fraction is made to increase. They also proved
that viscosity enlarges around 10 (ten times) as the volume frac-
tion increases. Chevalier et al. [59] measured the viscosity of SiO
2
in ethanol at room temperature with three different nanoparticle
sizes as 35, 94 and 190 nm and for a volume fraction of 1.4% to
7%. It was observed that viscosity increases anomalously with the
increase in volume concentrations.
Chen et al. [54] have reported that viscosity increases after a
certain range of volume fraction implying that at low volume frac-
tion that is less than 0.4 vol%, nanouids have lower viscosity than
corresponding base uid due to lubricating effect of nanoparticles.
But viscosity increases accordingly with nanoparticle loadings
when the volume fraction is higher than 0.4 vol%. Lu and Fan
[81] studied the viscosity of Al
2
O
3
with water and ethylene glycol
for different volume fractions. And they found experimentally as
well as numerically that viscosity of nanouids becomes higher
as the volume concentrations increases. Nguyen et al. [82] studied
the viscosity of Al
2
O
3
water for 36 nm for particle volume frac-
tions of 1%, 4%, 9% and nally 12%, with relative viscosity increases
of 1.12, 1.6, 3.0 and 5.3 respectively and also, 47 nm of diameter for
particle volume fractions of 2.1, 4.3, 8.5, and 12.2%, relative viscos-
ity augments 1.1, 1.4, 2.0, and 3.1 respectively. Schmidt et al. [83]
studied the shear and longitudinal viscosity of Al
2
O
3
with decane
and isoparafnic polyalphaolen (PAO) for volume fractions of
0.251% and found an increasing trend for viscosity with the in-
crease of volume fractions. Anoop et al. [86] studied the rheological
behavior of nanouids using nanouids as CuOethylene glycol,
Al
2
O
3
ethylene glycol and Al
2
O
3
water from two different sources
in two different forms. They studied the viscosity change for tem-
perature range of 20 C to 50 C with volume concentrations of 0.5,
1, 2, 4 and 6 vol.% and observed that viscosity becomes higher
when the particle concentrations rise. And augmentation factor is
nearly linear at higher volume fractions and not quite linear at
lower volume concentrations where viscosity ratio increases more
for water-based nanouids compared with ethylene glycol-based
nanouids. Chen et al. [87] studied the rheological behavior of
nanouids for titanate nanotubes in ethylene glycol. They saw that
the comparative increments in the shear viscosities of nanouids
containing 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, 4.0% and 8.0% particles are 3.30%,
7.00%, 16.22%, 26.34% and 70.96%, respectively. Duangthongsuk
and Wongwises [89] reported an increase of 415% in viscosity
for particle volume concentrations of 0.22.0% respectively for
temperature range of 15 C to 35 C. Interestingly from their exper-
iment, it is evident that the increment of viscosity due to the in-
crease in particle volume concentration is very low compared to
results from other studies. Phuoc and Massoudi [91] studied
Fe
2
O
3
deionized water nanouids with Polyvinylpyrrolidone
(PVP) or Polyethylene oxide (PEO), as a dispersant for the shear
rates and particle concentration effect on viscosity. From this
experiment it was indicated that viscosity increases with increas-
ing particle volume fraction. Nanouid with Fe
2
O
3
nanoparticles
in DW-0.2% PVP behaved as a Newtonian uid when the volume
fraction u was less than 0.02. In this case, the uid viscosity was
about 2 cp and remained independent of the shear rate. As the vol-
ume fraction became larger than 0.02 the suspension became non-
Newtonian with shear-thinning behavior. Chandrasekar et al. [2]
studied the thermal conductivities and viscosities of nanouids
for Al
2
O
3
nanoparticles of 0.335 vol.% with water. Their experi-
ments reached the result that viscosity rises with the increase of
volume fraction and also that the viscosity increases linearly up
to 2% volume concentrations. Yu et al. [100] investigated viscosity
vs. shear rate for a temperature range of 1060 C with a volume
concentration of 110% and discovered that nanouids containing
5 vol.% of AlN with EG and PG is a critical phenomena, as AlN con-
taining less than 5 vol.% exhibits Newtonian behavior and more
than 5 vol.% behaves in a non-Newtonian way and owns shear
thinning.
Some researchers report tremendous increase of viscosity with
the addition of nanoparticles. For instance in the case of 12 vol.% of
Al
2
O
3
with water, viscosity increased 5.3 times [82], for 12 vol.% of
TiO
2
with water viscosity increased 1200 times [75] and for 3 vol.%
of SiC with DIW, viscosity increased 102% compared to that of DIW
[96]. Apparently metal oxide based nanouids are broadly studied
and Al
2
O
3
and TiO
2
related literatures are major among the avail-
able literature concerning the viscosity of nanouids. Hence to
see the volumetric concentration impact on viscosity two graphical
representations are presented here. Figs. 7 and 8 demonstrate vis-
cosity trends with the increase of volume fraction for Al
2
O
3
and
TiO
2
respectively. Table 3 also contains a list of viscosity increment
in terms of volume fraction enhancement.
Fig. 6. Nanouid viscosity is not a strong function of nanoparticle diameter [55].
I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885 879
4. Theoretical investigations
There are some existing theoretical formulas to estimate the
particle suspension viscosities. Among them equation suggested
by Einstein [110] could be labeled the pioneer one and most of
other derivations have been basically established from this rela-
tion. His assumptions are based on linear viscous uid containing
dilute, suspended, spherical particles and low particle volume frac-
tions (/ < 0.02). The suggested formula is as follows:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 2:5/) (1)
Here, l
nf
is the viscosity of suspension; l
bf
is the viscosity of base
uid and / is the volume fraction of particle in base uid. This is
a linear increase of the suspension viscosity with increasing solid
volume concentration. Einstein considered non-interacting suspen-
sions. Some factors have been identied as the limitations of this
formula as the particle concentrations may not be so small, the
structure and the interaction of the particles within the continuous
phase may also affect the viscosity of the mixture. Later on many
researchers contributed to correct this formula.
In 1952, Brinkman [111] extended Einsteins formula to be used
with moderate particle concentrations, considering the effect of
the addition of one solute-molecule to an existing solution, which
is considered as a continuous medium. And this correlation has
more acceptances among the researchers. For particle concentra-
tions less than 4%, the expression is as follows:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 /)
2:5
(2)
Krieger and Dougherty [112] in 1959 derived a semi-empirical
relation for the shear viscosity covering the full range of particle
volume fraction:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 (/=/
m
))
g|/
m
(3)
where /
m
is the maximum particle packing fraction, which varies
from 0.495 to 0.54 under quiescent conditions, and is approxi-
mately 0.605 at high shear rates and g| is the intrinsic viscosity,
whose typical value for mono disperse suspensions of hard spheres
is 2.5.
Considering the effects of variable packing fraction within the
aggregate structure, this equation has been modied by Chen et
al. [57] and termed Modied Krieger and Dougherty equation as:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 /
a
=/
m
)
2:5/
m
(4)
/
a
= /(a
a
=a)
3D
(5)
where a
a
and a, are the radii of aggregates and primary particles,
respectively. D is the fractal index having a typical value of 1.8 for
nanouids.
For semi-dilute nanouids (-0.001 < / < -0.05) with aggrega-
tion of nanoparticles, the shear viscosity ts the modied Krie-
gerDougherty equation and there is no obvious shear-thinning
behavior; also, semi-concentrated nanouids (-0.05 < / < -0.1)
with aggregation of nanoparticles, the shear viscosity ts the mod-
ied KriegerDougherty equation and there is obvious shear-thin-
ning behavior.
Franken and Acrivos [113] presented a correlation:
l
nf
= l
bf
9
8
(/=/
m
)
1
3
1 (/=/
m
)
1
3
_ _
(6)
where /
m
is the maximum particle volume fraction as determined
experimentally.
Lundgren [114] proposed the following equation in 1972 under
the form of a Taylor series in /:
l
nf
= l
bf
1 2:5/
25
4
/
2
f (/
3
)
_ _
(7)
Considering the effect due to the Brownian motion of particles on
the bulk stress of an approximately isotropic suspension of rigid
and spherical particles; Batchelor [115] proposed the following for-
mula in 1977:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 2:5/ 6:5/
2
) (8)
It is clear from the above two relations that, if second or higher
order of / are ignored, then these formulas will be the same as Ein-
steins formula. Eq. (8) has been validated for a particle volume
fraction up to / 6 0:1 where motion of single particle and pair-par-
ticle interactions is dominant [116]. Batchelor considered the
interaction of pair-particles.
In 1981, Graham [117] suggested a generalized form of the
Franken and Acrivos [113] formula including particle radius and
inter particle spacing that is well in accordance with Einsteins for-
mula for small /. Graham [117] formula is expressed as follows:
l
nf
= l
bf
1 2:5/ 4:5 1=
h
d
p
2
h
d
p
_ _ _ _
1
h
d
p
_ _
2
_ _ _ _
(9)
where d
p
is the particle radius and h is the inter-particle spacing.
Fig. 7. Viscosity increases with the increase of volume fraction for different
concentration of Al
2
O
3
.
Fig. 8. Viscosity increment with the increase of volume fraction for different
concentration of TiO
2
.
880 I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885
In the same year Kitano et al. [118] proposed a simple expres-
sion involving /
m
to predict the viscosity of two phase mixtures:
l
nf
= l
bf
[1 (/=/
m
)[
2
(10)
In 1999, Bicerano et al. [119] offered a correlations for volumet-
ric effect of viscosity:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 g/ k
H
/
2
) (11)
Here g is the virial coefcient and k
H
is Huggins coefcient.
In 1999, Wang et al. [70] expressed a model to predict the vis-
cosity of nanouids as follows:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 7:3/ 123/
2
) (12)
In 2003, Tseng and Lin [75] have plotted the relative viscosity
against the particle concentration at shear rate c = 100 s
1
and
found relative viscosity increases with concentration in an expo-
nential form for TiO
2
/water nanouid:
l
nf
= l
bf
13:47e
35:98/
(13)
[where the correlation factor was, R
2
= 0.98 for TiO
2
/Water nano-
uids]. This relative viscosity increment with respect to concentra-
tion is unrealistic (especially after solids loading -0.05)
comparing with other experimental and analytical studies.
In 2003, Tseng and Chen [74] presented an exponential form of
volumetric concentration effect on viscosity for NickelTerpineol:
l
nf
= l
bf
0:4513e
0:6965/
(14)
[where the correlation factor was, R
2
= 0.9852 for Ni/Terpineol
nanouids]. This relative viscosity increment with respect to con-
centration is unrealistic (especially after solids loading -0.07) com-
paring with other experimental and analytical studies.
In 2007, Chen et al. [56] showed a relation for the normalized
shear viscosity with respect to the based liquid viscosity for up
to 10% by volume with an uncertainty less than -6%. The authors
have given the following correlation by the regression of the exper-
imental data as
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 10:6/ (10:6/)
2
) (15)
[where the correlation factor was, R
2
= 0.9989]. The authors have
shown that relative viscosity increase is only a function concentra-
tion but independent of temperature. This equation deviates signif-
icantly from the Einstein equation.
In 2007, Nguyen et al. [3] showed that, both the Brinkman [111]
and Batchelor [115] formulas severely underestimate nanouid
viscosities, except at very low particle volume fractions (lower
than 1%). Those linear uid theories are very low comparing with
their experimental results. Thus for computing purpose, they have
proposed two correlations for nanouids consisting 47 nm and
36 nm Al
2
O
3
nanoparticles with water, respectively as follows:
l
nf
= l
bf
0:904e
0:1482/
(16)
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 0:025/ 0:015/
2
) (17)
Both of these models determine the viscosity by only considering
the viscosity of the base uid and the particle volume fraction. Fur-
thermore, they found Batchelor [115] and Brinkman [111] formulas
inappropriate for CuOwater nanouids and proposed a correlation
for computing CuOwater viscosity:
l
nf
= l
bf
(1:475 0:319/ 0:051/
2
0:009/
3
) (18)
Avsec and Oblac [120] derived a mathematical model for calcu-
lating nanouids viscosity with the help of exponential formula of
Cheng and Law [121] and Einstein [110]. The Cheng and Law
Table 3
Volume fraction dependent viscosity of nanouids.
Researchers Base uid Particle name Particle size (nm) Volume fraction (%) Viscosity enhancement (%)
Chandrasekar et al. [2] Water Al
2
O
3
43 15 14136
Nguyen et al. [3,82] Water Al
2
O
3
36 2.113 10210
Nguyen et al. [3,82] Water Al
2
O
3
47 113 12430
Kole and Dey [4] Car engine coolant Al
2
O
3
<50 0.11.5 4136
Wang et al. [70] DW Al
2
O
3
28 16 986
Wang et al. [70] EG Al
2
O
3
28 1.23.5 739
Prasher et al. [55] PG Al
2
O
3
27 0.53 729
Prasher et al. [55] PG Al
2
O
3
40 0.53 636
Prasher et al. [55] PG Al
2
O
3
50 0.53 5.524
Murshed et al. [53] DIW Al
2
O
3
80 15 482
Anoop et al. [85] Water Al
2
O
3
45 28 wt% 16
Anoop et al. [85] Water Al
2
O
3
150 28 wt% 13
Anoop et al. [86] Water Al
2
O
3
95 0.56 377
Anoop et al. [86] Water Al
2
O
3
100 0.56 357
Anoop et al. [86] EG Al
2
O
3
100 0.56 5.530
Masuda et al. [51] Water TiO
2
27 14.3 1160
Murshed et al. [53] DIW TiO
2
15 15 2486
Chen et al. [56,57,88] EG TiO
2
25 0.11.86 0.523
He et al. [58] DW TiO
2
95,145,210 0.0241.18 411
Chen et al. [88] Water TiO
2
25 0.251.2 311
Duangthongsuk and Wongwises [89] Water TiO
2
21 0.22 415
Turgut et al. [92] DIW TiO
2
21 0.23 4135
Anoop et al. [86] EG CuO 152 0.56 832
Pastoriza-Gallego et al. [61] Water CuO 2337 110 wt% 0.511.5
Pastoriza-Gallego et al. [61] Water CuO 113 110 wt% 2.573
Chevalier et al. [59] Ethanol SiO
2
35 1.25 1595
Chevalier et al. [59] Ethanol SiO
2
94 1.47 1285
Chevalier et al. [59] Ethanol SiO
2
190 15.6 544
Chen et al. [87,88] EG TNT -10, L = 100 nm 0.11.86 3.370.96
Chen et al. [79,88] Water TNT -10, L = 100 nm 0.120.6 3.582
Garg et al. [80] EG Cu 200 0.42 524
Zhu et al. [95] DW CaCO
3
2050 0.124.11 169
Lee et al. [96] DW SiC <100 0.0013 1102
I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885 881
[121] or Ward models give very good results for two-phase ow
with particles larger than 100 nm. For smaller particle their theories
give wrong results with the deviation more than 100% in compari-
son with experimental results. Then the expression has modied as
renewed Ward model (RW):
l
nf
= l
bf
(1 2:5/
e
(2:5/
e
)
2
(2:5/
e
)
3
(2:5/
e
)
4
) (19)
where /
e
is the effective volume fraction. This relation has been de-
rived using the model of Yu and Choi [122] whose expression is:
/
e
= / 1
h
r
_ _
3
(20)
where h represents the liquid thickness.
Most of the formulas have been developed to express viscosity
as a function of volume fraction of nanoparticles. However temper-
ature is an important inuencing factor on viscosity as well, and as
a result some correlations have been created to be used to investi-
gate the temperature effect on viscosity.
A correlation between viscosity and temperature for pure uids
was presented by White [123] in 1991:
ln(l
f
=l
o
) ~ a b(T
0
=T) c(T
0
=T)
2
(21)
Here (l
0
, T
0
) are reference values and (a, b, c) given in the table by
White, are dimensionless curve-t constants. They vary from uid
to uid; for example for water
a = 2:10; b = 4:45 and c = 6:55:
Another two temperature dependent correlation given by Reid et al.
[124]:
l
nf
= Aexp(B=T) (22)
where A and B are the functions of concentrations and Yaws [125]
are written as:
Log(l
nf
) = A BT
1
CT DT
2
(23)
where A, B, C and D are tting parameters.
Some correlations have also been suggested taking into account
both temperature and volume fraction effects on viscosity.
In 2006, Kulkarni et al. [126] proposed a correlation that relates
viscosity of copper oxide nanoparticles suspended in water with a
temperature range of 550 C:
ln(l
nf
) = A(1=T) B (24)
Here A and B are functions of volume percentage /. This correlation
is mainly for aqueous solution and is not applicable to nanouids in
the subzero temperature range.
Namburu et al. [78] tried to t their experimental data to corre-
lations presented by Yaws [125], Kulkarni et al. [126], Tseng and
Lin [75] and White [123]. None of these correlations t the data.
Therefore, by careful statistical analyses an exponential model
with a correlation coefcient of R
2
> 0.99 has been derived:
Log(l
nf
) = Ae
BT
(25)
where l
nf
is the copper oxide nanouid viscosity in centi poise (cP),
T is the temperature in K and A, B are functions of particle volume
percentage (/). The coefcients A and B are related to volume con-
centration (/) as
A = 1:8375(/)
2
29:643(/) 165:56 with R
2
= 0:9873 (26)
B = 4 10
6
(/)
2
0:001(/) 0:0186 with R
2
= 0:988 (27)
where / ranges from 0 to 6.12; the maximum deviation between
experimental values and curve-t values are within 8.8%.
Abu-Nada [127] derives a correlation for nanouids viscosity as
a function of temperature and nanoparticle concentration. The
experimental data reported by Nguyen et al. [3] have been used
to derive this correlation. The expression is as:
l
Al
2
O
3
= 0:155
19:582

T
0:794/
2094:47

T
2
0:192/
2
8:11
/

T

27463:863

T
3
:0127/
3
1:6044
/
2

T
2:1754
/

T
2
(28)
This model has been compared with Brinkman model and it has
been found that the Nguyen et al. data and Brinkman model gives
completely different predictions.
Some correlations simultaneously consider the effects of parti-
cle diameter along with volume fraction and temperature.
Masoumi et al. [128] established a new theoretical model for
nanouids viscosity prediction based on Brownian motion. This
model could be used to calculate the effective viscosity in terms
of temperature, the mean particle diameter, the nanoparticle vol-
ume fraction, the nanoparticle density and the base uid physical
properties. Fluid consisting of two different uids also can be pre-
dicted by this model
l
nf
= l
bf

qPV
B
d
2
P
72Cd
(29)
where q
P
is the density, d
p
is particle diameter, d is the distance be-
tween the nanoparticles, V
B
and C are functions of the temperature.
V
B
=
1
dP

18K
b
T
pqPdP
_
, K
b
is Boltzmann constant; C is a correction factor and
C = l
1
bf
[(c
1
d
p
c
2
)/ (c
3
d
p
c
4
)[; c
1
c
2
c
3
and c
4
are constants. The
authors calculate this model by using very limited experimental
data of [52,70] for nanouids consisting of 13 nm Al
2
O
3
nanoparti-
cles and water and 28 nm Al
2
O
3
nanoparticles and water.
Masoud Hosseini et al. [129] presented a dimensionless group
model to determine the viscosity of a nanouid considering the
volume concentration, nanoparticle size, effect of the capping
layer, and temperature. They used a least-squares regression tech-
nique to determine model parameters. And they showed this mod-
el is suitable for the nanouids containing Al
2
O
3
and water
l
nf
= l
bf
exp ma
T
T
0
_ _
b(/
h
) c
d
1 r
_ _ _ _
(30)
where /
h
is the hydro dynamic volume fraction of solid nanoparti-
cles, d is the nanoparticle diameter, r is the thickness of the capping
layer, T
0
a reference temperature, and T is the measured tempera-
ture of the nanouid, m is a factor that depends on the properties
of the system (i.e., the solid nanoparticles, the base uid, and their
interactions), while a, b, and c are empirical constants determined
from experimental data. This correlation is only for the Al
2
O
3
with
water solution. And the authors calculate the experimental data
from Nguyen et al. [82].
Actually, no model is able to predict the viscosity of nanouids
precisely in a broad range of nanoparticle volume fraction. Garg et
al. [80] found a four times increment in viscosity comparing with
the Einstein law of viscosity [110]. Murshed et al. [66] argued that
the classical models such as Einstein [110], Krieger and Dougherty
[112], Batchelor [115], and Nielsen [130] could not predict the vis-
cosity of nanouids in a precise way.
5. Discussion
In this study, attempt has been made to cover all the investiga-
tions performed on the viscosity of nanouids available in the lit-
erature. Through this study it is found that temperature, particle
882 I.M. Mahbubul et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 874885
size & shape and volume fractions have signicant effects over vis-
cosity of nanouids. Results indicate that viscosity increases as the
particle volume fractions increase, and nanouids behave in a
Newtonian way for low particle volume concentrations. No exist-
ing model or correlation is capable of precise prediction of the vis-
cosity enhancement with respect to volume fractions. Although
there have been a few contradictory results in the eld of temper-
ature effect on viscosity, generally researchers deduce that, viscos-
ity decreases with an increase of temperature. There are some
correlations available for the temperature inuence over viscosity
most of which are not versatile enough and a debate still exists
about the particle size impact on viscosity. However, it can be con-
cluded that particle size has some effects on viscosity of nanouids.
The reason that all the reports about particle size effects are not in
accordance with each other might be due to the fact that the vis-
cosity of these new classes of uids not only depends on particle
size but also on other factors. Besides if the nanouids are not
well-dispersed, then agglomeration would occur, and conse-
quently it would be difcult to measure the nanoparticle size
and its effects on the viscosity of a particular nanouid.
Also, the effects of material type are not signicant in many
cases. For an example, Al
2
O
3
ethylene glycol and Al
2
O
3
water
solution has a similar viscosity increment [70]. However, Anoop
et al. [86] found different viscosity increment for the above two
nanouids. Again, Murshed et al. [53] and Wang et al. [70] found
nearly the same increment for 5 vol.% of Al
2
O
3
water nanoids
but chandrasekar et al. [2] found different increment (more than
them) for the same type of nanouids. Timofeeva et al. [107] report
that viscosity of nanouids has a strong relation with base uids
but weak dependence with nanoparticle material.
Viscosity and rheological properties are essential parameters to
know for practical applications of nanouids. In this study, it has
been shown that a great amount of research has been done consid-
ering viscosity of nanouids. However these do not seem to be suf-
cient to estimate any standard about viscosity of nanouids, as
there are some inconsistencies among the published results. For
example, some authors reported that nanouids were Newtonian
uids [2,5557,77,78,88,90,95,103,131,132], while others observed
a non-Newtonian behavior [4,58,79,87,88,97,104].
Some authors showed relative viscosity is independent of tem-
perature [5557] and some authors showed viscosity of nanouids
decreases non-linearly or exponentially [4,60,78,90,92,94] with the
increase of temperatures.
From another aspect, some researchers showed viscosity in-
creases linearly [55,80] with the increase of volume concentra-
tions, while others showed nonlinear trend [3,5658,88,89,91,95,
133]. Also, for the same nanouids with same concentration dem-
onstrate different viscosity enhancement. Debates also exist about
the particle size effect on viscosity of nanouids. Some researchers
report that particle size has not signicant effect on viscosity [55]
but most of the researcher showed particle size and shape has a
noticeable effect over viscosity. While a number of researchers
showed that viscosity increases with the decrease in particle size
[5961,81,85], some expressed a reverse trend in viscosity change
due to the increase in particle size [3,58,82].
Graphene is a promising nanostructured material [134136].
Savithiri et al. [46] determine the dynamic viscosity of water/
graphene nanouids based on the correlation of Brinkman [111]
for the investigation of slip mechanisms in nanouids. However
the authors did not include any data that directly related to viscos-
ity of water/graphene nanouids. Also, no article is available in lit-
erature about the viscosity of graphene synthesis nanouids.
Furthermore a relative lack of experimental data about the viscos-
ity of nanouids is felt to exist throughout the research in this eld.
As a result more extensive investigations dedicated to the viscosity
of this newly introduced type of uids and the effective factors
seem to be required to fulll the existing gaps and also to obtain
reliable ndings for generating a benecial standard.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge University of Malaya for
nancial support. This work is supported by Fundamental Research
Grant Scheme (FRGS) fund (Project No. FP017/2010B, FRGS) and
Postgraduate Research Grant (PPP) (No. PV013/2011A).
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