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McNair Scholars Program

Meredith (Martin) Schlabach

She/her

Education: Bachelor of Science in mechanical and nuclear engineering (May 2007)

Research: Measurement of Velocity Profiles of Laminar to Turbulent Water Flows in a Tube Using Particle Image Velocimetry (2004)

Mentor: Mohammad Hosni, Ph.D.

The transition from laminar to turbulent in-tube flow is studied in this paper. Water flow in a glass tube with an inside diameter of 21.7 mm was investigated by two methods. First, a dye visualization test using a setup similar to the 1883 experiment of Osborne Reynolds was conducted. For the dye visualization, Reynolds numbers ranging from approximately 1000 to 3500 were tested and the transition from laminar to turbulent flow was observed between a Reynolds number of 2500 and 3500. For the second method, a particle image velocimetry (PIV) system was used to measure the velocity profiles of flow in the same glass tube at Reynolds numbers ranging from approximately 500 to 9000. The resulting velocity profiles were compared to theoretical laminar profiles and empirical turbulent power-law profiles. Good agreement was found between the lower Reynolds number flow and the laminar profile, and between the higher Reynolds number flow and turbulent power-law profile. In between the flow appeared to be in a transition region and deviated some between the two profiles.

McNair Project: Characterization of Convection Oven Heat Leakage (2005)

Mentor: Bruce Babin, Ph.D.

In the mechanical engineering department at Kansas State University research is being conducted to experimentally quantify an oven’s performance. For this purpose two analytical models have been developed by a student at Kansas State University. As a subset of that research, the goal of this particular paper is to experimentally characterize the heat leakage in an electrically heated household convection oven. This involves determining heat leakage as a function of oven temperature and reducing this information to an effective thermal conductivity. By applying an energy balance the global heat leakage was approximated as equivalent to the power supplied to the elements during steady state operation. The power consumption, and thus the heat leakage, was measured. The temperature of the oven cavity was also monitored during pseudo steady state operation. The power and temperature were both plotted as a function of time. The heat leakage as a function of the target oven temperature demonstrated a linear relationship. The effective thermal conductivity was calculated and found to demonstrate some temperature dependence. These results show a global heat leakage for the oven and were used to help quantify the oven’s performance.