Experiments on natural convection in superposed metal foam and water layers are reported. The heat transfer system comprises a vertical cavity heated from below and held at constant temperature at the top. Two systems are considered: a water-filled cavity with a foam layer on the heated surface and a water-filled cavity with foam layers on the upper and lower surfaces. The present experiments use open cell copper foams with a nominal porosity of 92%, and the relative thicknesses of the water and foam layers are varied. Steady state Nusselt numbers show the presence of foam on the boundaries enhances overall heat transfer coefficients over that for the water-only layer. Enhancement of overall Nusselt numbers varies from 12 to 60% depending on Rayleigh number. Sub-layer configurations with foam on both heat transfer surfaces are more effective for enhancement than a configuration with foam only on the heated surface.

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