The paper presents the application of liquid crystal thermography for temperature determination and visualisation of two phase flow images on the studied surface. Properties and applications of thermochromic liquid crystals are discussed. Liquid crystals were applied for two-dimensional detection of the temperature of the heating foil forming one of the surfaces of the minichannel along which the cooling liquid flowed. The heat flux supplied to the heating surface was altered in the investigation and it was accompanied by a change in the color distribution on the surface. The accuracy of temperature measurements on the surface with liquid crystal thermography is estimated. The method of visualisation of two-phase flow structures is described. The analysis of monochrome images of flow structures was employed to calculate the void fraction for some cross-sections. The flow structure photos were processed using Corel graphics software and binarized. The analysis of phase volumes employed Techsystem Globe software. The measurement error of void fraction is estimated.
Nowadays, the energy cost is very high and this problem is carried out to seek techniques for improvement of the aerothermal and thermal (heat flow) systems performances in different technical applications. The transient and steady-state techniques with liquid crystals for the surface temperature and heat transfer coefficient or Nusselt number distribution measurements have been developed. The flow pattern produced by transverse vortex generators (ribs) and other fluid obstacles (e.g. turbine blades) was visualized using liquid crystals (Liquid Crystal Thermography) in combination with the true-colour image processing as well as planar beam of double-impulse laser tailored by a cylindrical lens and oil particles (particle image velocimetry or laser anemometry). Experiments using both research tools were performed at Gdańsk University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Present work provides selected results obtained during this research.