Time-dependent experimental analysis of a thermal transpiration rarefied gas flow

Abstract : Thermal transpiration is the macroscopic movement induced in a rarefied gas by a temperature gradient. The gas moves from the lower to the higher temperature zone. An original method is proposed here to measure the stationary mass flow rate of gas created by thermal transpiration in a micro-tube heated at its outlet. In addition, by means of a time-dependent study, parameters such as the pressure variation, the pressure variation speed, and the characteristic time of the system are analyzed. The experimental system is composed of a glass tube of circular cross section and two reservoirs positioned one at the inlet and one at the outlet of the capillary. The reservoirs are connected to two fast response time capacitance diaphragm gauges. By monitoring the pressure variation with time inside both reservoirs, it is possible to measure the macroscopic movement of the gas along the tube. Three gases, nitrogen, argon, and helium, are studied and three temperature differences Delta T = 37, 53.5, and 71 K are applied to the tube. The analyzed gas rarefaction conditions vary from near free molecular to slip regime. Finally, Poiseuille counter flows consistent with the experimental zero flow conditions of the thermal transpiration process are proved to be possible. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
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Marcos Rojas-Cárdenas, Irina Graur, Pierre Perrier, J. Gilbert Meolans. Time-dependent experimental analysis of a thermal transpiration rarefied gas flow. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 2013, 25 (7), 〈10.1063/1.4813805〉. 〈hal-01459443〉



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