Effect of Fluid Heating on Wicking Rate

Jordan Piontkowski, “Effect of Fluid Heating on Wicking Rate”
Mentors: Krishna Pillai and Abul Hasan, Mechanical Engineering
Poster #105

Spontaneous inhibition of wetting liquids into a porous medium under the influence of capillary pressure is a concept used throughout many sectors of the industry. It has versatile applications in different engineering fields including petroleum, biomedical, industrial manufacturing, soil science etc. Most familiar wicking products are used in are tiki torches, aromatic diffusors, and mosquito repellant. In aromatic dispensers and mosquito repellent devices, liquid is driven by a wick and then dispersed into the surrounding. This phenomenon is allowed to happen in room temperature which is constant. The present study will be focusing on the effect of temperature on wicking rate. A sintered polymer bead wick used in the experiment resembles those used for aromatic diffusors. Hexadecane is used as the working fluid as it’s boiling point and flash point are comparatively higher than other alkane fluids. A thermocouple is used to measure temperature of the wicking liquid. The sharp fluid flow front of the wick allows observation of the effect of temperature on the wicking rate of the fluid. The flow front height is recorded over a period to determine the wicking rate. Several temperatures are tested to determine if heating of the fluid will cause an increase in the wicking rate of the fluid when compared to a room temperature control. The experiments seek to determine the effects of temperature on the wicking rate and determine if the changes in wicking rate can be predicted using a theoretical equation.