Heat conduction in a semi-infinite medium with time-periodic boundary temperature and a circular inhomogeneity

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We solve the problem of heat conduction in a 2D homogeneous medium (of diffusivity ±) below a boundary subjected to time-periodic temperature (of frequency ‰), in the presence of a circular inhomogeneity (of radius R), whose center is at distance d > R (depth) from the boundary. This study is a continuation of a previous one which considers a 3D medium with a spherical inhomogeneity. The general solution depends on four dimensionless parameters: d/R, the heat conductivity ratio °, the heat capacity ratio C and the displacement thickness RCombining double low line2±/‰R2). An analytical solution is derived as an infinite series of eigenfunctions pertaining to the 2D Helmholtz equation. The solution converges quickly and is shown to be in agreement with a finite element numerical solution. The results are illustrated and analyzed for a given accuracy and for a few values of the governing parameters. A comparison is held with the previous 3D solution pointing out the differences between the two. To widen the range of possible applications, an extension of the solution to a domain of finite depth is also presented. The general solution can be simplified considerably for asymptotic values of the parameters. A first approximation, obtained for R/d‰1, pertains to an unbounded domain. A further approximate solution, for R/d‰1, while ° and C are fixed, can be regarded as pertaining to a quasi-steady regime. However, its accuracy deteriorates for R/d ‰ 1, and a solution, coined as the insulated circle approximation, is derived for this case. Comparison with the exact solution shows that these approximations are accurate for a wide range of parameter values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-157
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Thermal Sciences
StatePublished - Jan 2015


  • Analytical solution
  • Heat conduction
  • Heterogeneous medium
  • Perturbation expansion
  • Semi-infinite medium
  • Time-periodic


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