School of Engineering
Edith Cowan University
Air heat exchangers (HXs) are applicable in many industrial sectors because they offer a simple, reliable, and cost-effective cooling system. Additive manufacturing (AM) systems have sig-nificant potential in the construction of high-efficiency, lightweight HXs; however, HXs still mainly rely on conventional manufacturing (CM) systems such as milling, and brazing. This is due to the fact that little is known regarding the effects of AM on the performance of AM fabricated HXs. In this research, three air HXs comprising of a single fin fabricated from stainless steel 316 L using AM and CM methods—i.e., the HXs were fabricated by both direct metal printing and milling. To eval-uate the fabricated HXs, microstructure images of the HXs were investigated, and the surface roughness of the samples was measured. Furthermore, an experimental test rig was designed and manufactured to conduct the experimental studies, and the thermal performance was investigated using four characteristics: heat transfer coefficient, Nusselt number, thermal fluid dynamic performance, and friction factor. The results showed that the manufacturing method has a considerable effect on the HX thermal performance. Furthermore, the surface roughness and distribution, and quantity of internal voids, which might be created during and after the printing process, affect the performance of HXs.
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Natural and Built Environments
Engineering, technology and nanotechnology