The effect of time-dependent pressure pulsations on heat transfer in a pipe flow with constant temperature boundaries is analysed numerically when the viscosity of the pulsating fluid is an inverse linear function of the temperature. The coupled differential equations are solved using Crank-Nicholson semi-implicit finite difference formulation with some modifications. The results indicate local variations in heat transfer due to pulsations. They are useful in the design of heat exchangers working under pulsating flow conditions. The analytical results are presented for both heating and cooling. The conditions under which pulsating flows can augment the heat transfer are discussed. The results are applicable for heat exchangers with fluids of high Prandtl number. © 1989 Springer-Verlag.