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B54TC2 – Thermodynamics 3

Fin Tutorial - #1

Q1 For the case of the Adiabatic Tip (case #2) and the long fin (case #3) use the boundary
conditions given to prove the temperature profile equations and overall heat transfer rates

These proofs can be used where appropriate in the following examples.

Q2 A stainless steel fin, mounted between walls as shown in Figure Q2, has its two ends maintained
at 50°C, and has a flow over it giving a uniform heat transfer coefficient of 25 W/m²K.

(a) From symmetry principles deduce the location of the minimum temperature attained in the

(b) Determine the minimum temperature

{x = 25 mm, Tmin = 33.7oC}

Other Data: The ambient temperature T is 20°C

Thermal conductivity of stainless steel is km = 17 W/mK

10mm 1mm




Past Exam Question (pre 2000)

Q3 A finned tube constructed of aluminium (k = 204 W/mK) is plain on the inside and has 12
longitudinal fins on the outside. The fins are of rectangular section with a thickness of 1mm and
a radial length that is very large compared to their thickness. Determine the convective heat
flow per unit length of tube when the overall operating temperature difference at the fin base
and a surrounding liquid is 10°C. The heat transfer coefficient between the metal and the liquid
is 0.1 kW/m2K and heat transfer from the base area between the fins may be ignored.

What is the decrease in heat transfer if the finned tube is evenly coated with 0.1mm of plastic
(k = 0.1 W/mK)?
{0.766 kW/unit length, 39W (or 5%)}

Extract from Past Exam Question (2003)

B54TC2 – Thermodynamics 3

Q4 For an infinitely long fin it can be shown that the temperature profile is

T  e  mx TB

Show that for an infinite fin that the heat transfer by convection is given by the expression

Q   P AB k TB 1  e  ml 
and hence when L ,
 
Q  P AB k TB

The relationship above includes a dimensionless term (1-e-ml) that accounts for the length of the

Explain why it would not be recommended to use this equation in determining the heat transfer
from fins not of infinite length. Could you be justified in using this equation in any

Q5 Use the equation shown in Q4 to estimate the number of fins required for the fin array example
in the notes
{12 fins}

Q6 A surface 10mm by 10mm is to be cooled using the addition of fin(s) of dimensions 10mm
wide, 1mm thick and 40mm long. The fin(s) are made from aluminium with a thermal
conductivity of 200 W/mK. The heat transfer coefficient from the fin to the surroundings is
10 W/m2K.

What is the effectiveness of the two fins on this surface and how much power can be dissipated
if the temperature difference between the base and the surroundings is 60oC?
{15.2, 0.912W}

Q7 Prove that the fin efficiency for an adiabatic fins is given by

tanh ml
 fin 

Q8 Derive an expression for the overall efficiency of a fined surface based on the efficiency of an
individual fin and the total area of the surface and the fin.

Q9 8 fins of dimensions 0.0032 m wide, 0.000381 m thick and 0.0381 m long are made for
aluminium of thermal conductivity kal = 200 W/mK and attached to a surface at 66 oC. If the
environmental temperature is 30oC and the heat transfer coefficient is 8.6 W/m2K, how much
heat can be dissipated from the fins? (Assume adiabatic tip).

Q10 Show that by taking a heat balance near the tip that the effect of a non-zero heat transfer through
the tip can be approximated by adding an additional length L with an insulated tip, given by
L= t/2

(eg prove that a adding a length equivalent to t/2 converts a convective tip into an adiabatic tip)