The most crucial step towards conducting experimental studies on thermophysical properties and heat transfer of nanofluids is, undoubtedly, the preparation step. It is known that good dispersion of nanoparticles into the base fluids leads to having long-time stable nanofluids, which result in having higher thermal conductivity enhancement and lower viscosity increase. Ultrasonic treatment is one of the most effective techniques to break down the large clusters of nanoparticles into the smaller clusters or even individual nanoparticles. The present review aims to summarize the recently published literature on the effects of various ultrasonication parameters on stability and thermal properties of various nanofluids. The most common methods to characterize the dispersion quality and stability of the nanofluids have been presented and discussed. It is found that increasing the ultrasonication time and power results in having more dispersed and stable nanofluids. Moreover, increasing the ultrasonication time and power leads to having higher thermal conductivity and heat transfer enhancement, lower viscosity increase, and lower pressure drop. However, there are some exceptional cases in which increasing the ultrasonication time and power deteriorated the stability and thermophysical properties of some nanofluids. It is also found that employing the ultrasonic horn/probe devices are much more effective than ultrasonic bath devices; lower ultrasonication time and power leads to better results.
Keywords: Continuous and discontinuous ultrasonication; Direct and indirect ultrasonication; Thermophysical properties; Ultrasonic treatment; Ultrasonication power; Ultrasonication time.
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