Instantaneous acoustic heating of a fluid with thermodynamic relaxation is the subject of investigation. Among others, viscoelastic biological media described by the Maxwell model of the viscous stress tensor, belong to this type of fluid. The governing equation of acoustic heating is derived by means of the special linear combination of conservation equations in differential form, allowing the reduction of all acoustic terms in the linear part of the final equation, but preserving terms belonging to the thermal mode responsible for heating. The procedure of decomposition is valid for weakly nonlinear flows, resulting in the nonlinear terms responsible for the modes interaction. Nonlinear acoustic terms form a source of acoustic heating in the case of dominative sound, which reflects the thermoviscous and dispersive properties of a fluid. The method of deriving the governing equations does not need averaging over the sound period, and the final governing dynamic equation of the thermal mode is instantaneous. Some examples of acoustic heating are illustrated and discussed, conclusions about efficiency of heating caused by different sound impulses are made.
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