This thesis studied the effects of gravity induced settling, thermophoresis and Brownian motion on the thermal conductivity of the Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) nanofluids. The base fluid was propylene glycol. The effects were studied by making three samples with volumetric percentages of 0.2 %, 2% and 3% Al2O3 in propylene glycol. Sets of 22 experiments were conducted over time to understand the behavior of settling. All samples were manually mixed each time the experiment was conducted. A Thermtest Transient Plane Source TPS 500S was used to measure the thermal conductivity. Volumetric percentages and diameters of nanoparticle were chosen so that the effect of coagulation was minimized. The diameter of nanoparticle chosen was 15nm. The maximum thermal conductivity enhancement happened when the volumetric percentage of 3% Al2O3 was added in propylene glycol. It was also concluded in our experimental setup, that gravity significantly affected the settling of nanoparticles.


Patrick Tebbe

First Committee Member

Sungwon Kim

Second Committee Member

Namyong Lee

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Civil Engineering


Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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