Full of Hot Air - First Additive Manufacturing Produced Heat Exchanger

The first heat exhchanger made with additive manufacturing. 3D Printingadditive manufacturing heat exchanger Researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and Stratasys Inc. have developed what may be the first heat exchanger made by additive manufacturing (or 3D printing). Additive manufacturing can economically produce complex geometries so it has the potential to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of heat exchangers in applications where plastic materials can be used.

In the UMD design, room air heated to 120oC flows through the gaps between rectangular webbed tube plates and is cooled by building water at 27oC flowing through the tubular array. Juan Cevallos, a PhD candidate and research assistant in the TherPES Laboratory at UMD’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, was responsible for testing the Webbed Tube Heat Exchanger (WTHX). Under the direction of Professor Avram Bar-Cohen - along with Professors S. K. Gupta, David Bigio, and Hugh Bruck - Cevallos has been working in collaboration with the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi to advance polymer heat exchanger technology for seawater cooling of LNG processes, among other applications. Fabricated at the Stratasys facility in Eden Prairie, MN, the 3D-printed WTHX may lead the way to a new generation of economical and highly-efficient heat exchangers

UMD press release.

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