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As is common with fluid mechanics analysis, a number of dimensionless parameters are employed to describe convective heat transfer. A summary of these variables is included in the following tables:
General Convection (Forced and Free)
Parameter Formula Interpretation
Prandtl Number: Ratio of fluid velocity boundary layer thickness to the fluid temperature boundary layer thickness.
Nusselt Number: Ratio of heat transfered from surface to heat conducted away by fluid.
Forced Convection Only
Parameter Formula Interpretation
Reynolds Number: Ratio of fluid inertia stress to viscous stress (for flow over flat plates).
Reynolds Number: (Reynolds Number for pipe flow).
Stanton Number:  
Free Convection Only
Parameter Formula Interpretation
Grashof Number: Ratio of fluid buoyancy stress to viscous stress.
Rayleigh Number:  
Glossary