PI: Natasha Vermaak

Co-PI(s): Keith Moored

University: Lehigh University

Although ubiquitous, controlling turbulence and the key relationships between flow fields, structures/instabilities, and heat transfer remains elusive. In particular, new approaches to detect and manipulate instability modes are required to make more than incremental insight into the transition to turbulence for tailored convection performance. In the past ten years, phononic metamaterials, which are composites that exhibit distinct frequency band gaps where elastic/acoustic waves are prohibited, have gained increasing attention for acoustic, seismic, and thermal applications. However, they have yet to be leveraged to control the fundamental flow physics of turbulent heat transfer. As the properties of phononic metamaterials rely heavily on the constitutive materials and their spatial distributions, their design is particularly suited to topology optimization approaches for desired properties or functionalities. For this purpose, a multi-disciplinary research team with expertise in the mechanics of thermal fluids (Moored) and material and structural topology optimization (Vermaak) has been formed with integral collaboration from a premier thermal management solutions company (Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.). Together, they will be the first to validate metamaterials as flow control mechanisms to exploit transitions to turbulent heat transfer.