Anisotropic parameters of mesh fillers relevant to miniature cryocoolers
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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling is possibly the best available technique in designing and predicting the performance of Stirling and pulse tube refrigerators (PTR). One of the limitations of CFD modeling of these systems, however, is that it requires closure relations for the micro porous materials housed within their regenerators and heat exchangers. Comprehensive prediction of fluid-solid interaction through this media can be obtained only by direct pore level simulation, a process which is time consuming and impractical for system level examination. Through the application of empirical correlations including the Darcy permeability and Forchheimer's inertial coefficient, the microscopic momentum equations governing fluid behavior within the porous structure can be recast as viable macroscopic governing equations. With these constitutive relationships, CFD can be an efficient and powerful tool for system modeling and optimization. The purpose of this study is to determine the hydrodynamic parameters of two mesh fillers relevant to miniature PTRs; stacked screens of 635 mesh stainless steel and 325 mesh phosphor-bronze wire cloth. Experimental setups were designed and fabricated to measure steady and oscillatory pressures and mass flow rates of the working fluid, research-grade helium. Hydrodynamic parameters for the two mesh fillers were determined for steady-state and steady periodic flow in both the axial and radial directions for a range of flow rates, operating frequencies and charge pressures. The effect of average pressure on the steady axial flow hydrodynamic parameters of other common PTR filler materials was also investigated. The determination of sample hydrodynamic parameters and their subsequent computational and experimental methodologies utilized are explained.