Constructal placement of high-conductivity inserts in a slab: Optimal design of "Roughness"
This paper addresses the fundamental problem of how to facilitate the flow of heat across a conducting slab heated from one side. Available for distribution through the system is a small amount of high-conductivity material. The constructal method consists of optimizing geometrically the distribution of the high-conductivity material through the material of lower conductivity Two-dimensional distributions (plate inserts) and three-dimensional distributions (pin inserts) are optimized based on the numerical simulation of heat conduction in a large number of possible configurations. Results are presented for the external and internal features of the optimized architectures: spacings between inserts, penetration distances, tapered inserts and constant-thickness inserts. The use of optimized pin inserts leads consistently to lower global thermal resistances than the use of plate inserts. The side of the slab that is connected to the high-conductivity intrusions is in effect a "rough" surface. This paper shows that the architecture of a rough surface can be optimized for minimum global contact resistance. Roughness can be designed.