Nanofluids are becoming increasingly popular as heat transfer fluids in a variety of industrial applications, due to their enhanced heat transfer characteristics. The thermal conductivity of nanofluids is usually found to be much larger than that predicted from the classical models, such as the Maxwell model. The key mechanism of enhancement of thermal conductivity of dilute nanofluids is the solvation of nanoparticles with a layer of matrix liquid. As of now, little is known quantitatively about the thermal conductivity of the interfacial layers surrounding the nanoparticles. In this article, a novel method is presented to determine the thermal conductivity of the interfacial layers of the nanoparticles. The proposed method allows the estimation of the thermal conductivity of interfacial layers based on the combined measurements of the intrinsic viscosity and intrinsic thermal conductivity of a bulk nanofluid. From the measured intrinsic viscosity of the nanofluid, the thickness of the interfacial layer is estimated. Using the known interfacial layer thickness along with the measured intrinsic thermal conductivity of the nanofluid, the thermal conductivity of the interfacial layer is estimated. The proposed method is validated by simulation and experimental results.
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