Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Mechanical Engineering


In designing a heat exchanger, an engineer is interested in the highest possible efficiency of the unit. If he is designing a transistor with an internal heat source, he is interested in dissipating this heat energy to the surrounding air or heat sink. In these and other devices, the engineer wants a design that gives a maximum heat loss, or heat transfer, per unit of base surface. The heat transfer coefficient of a heated object can be increased by extending its surface, thereby providing more surface area for heat transfer. If the maximum heat loss per unit area of base surface can be increased by extended surface, then fins placed on close center would be ideal. However, as the fins are placed closer and closer together, the finned tube approaches a thick circular cylinder with no advantage of extended surface. As the spacing of the fins would decrease, the heat lost would increase to a maximum and then decrease. The project reported in this thesis involved setting up the apparatus and determining experimentally, the optimum spacing for maximum free convection heat loss from parallel circular disks.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Heat -- Transmission


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only