Term of Award

Winter 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

David Calamas

Committee Member 1

Mosfequr Rahman

Committee Member 2

Biswanath Samanta


When certain fractal geometries are used in the design of fins or heat sinks the surface area available for heat transfer can be increased while system mass can be simultaneously decreased. In order to assess the thermal performance of fractal fins for application in the thermal management of electronic devices an experimental investigation was performed. The experimental investigation assessed the efficiency, effectiveness, and effectiveness per unit mass of straight rectangular fins inspired by the first four iterations of the Sierpinski carpet fractal pattern. The thermal performance of the fractal fins was investigated in both natural and forced convection environments. In addition, the contribution of thermal radiation was accounted for. Regardless of the environment, fin efficiency was found to decrease with fractal iteration and fin effectiveness per unit mass increased with fractal iteration. In addition, a fractal fin inspired by the fourth iteration of the Sierpinski carpet fractal pattern was found to be more effective than a traditional straight rectangular fin of equal width, height, and thickness. In a forced convection environment, it was found that as the Reynolds number increased, the fin efficiency, effectiveness and effectiveness per unit mass were found to decrease. However, as the Reynolds number increased the Nusselt number was found to similarly increase due to higher average heat transfer coefficients. Finally, thermal radiation accounted for half of the total heat transfer rate in a natural convection environment. The contribution of thermal radiation to the total heat transfer rate decreased as the Reynolds number increased in a forced convection environment.

Research Data and Supplementary Material