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John O | June 2019

Additive manufacturing changing the way that engineers approach heat exchangers

By Josh Perry, Editor
[email protected]


A recent article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS), a leading-edge thermal engineering company based in Norwood, Mass., describes some of the recent advancements in additive manufacturing as related to the production of heat exchangers.


3-D developed heat exchangers can feature shapes not obtainable
using traditional forming methods. (3-D Systems)


As the demands of electronics cooling applications have grown, liquid cooling has become increasingly popular and increasingly necessary for dissipating high heat loads. Heat exchangers are an integral part of any liquid cooling system, but traditional designs and manufacturing processes have their limits.


Additive manufacturing, specifically metal 3-D printing, changes the way that engineers look at heat exchangers, opening new design possibilities thanks to the flexibility for new geometries, the efficiency of the 3-D printed devices, and the reduction in weight that comes from printing one piece rather than multiple components that have to be joined together.


Many of the examples in the article have been featured on coolingZONE in the past, but it highlights the depth of the research into additive manufacturing for thermal management applications and the variety of ideas that engineers are pushing forward to solve today’s cooling challenges.


“One reason is that additive manufacturing allows for generous cost savings,” the article explained. “Companies can reduce 15-20 existing part numbers and print them as a single component. A single part eliminates inventory, additional inspections, and assemblies that would have been necessary when components were produced individually.”


It added, “For example, shapes with a scooped out or hollow center can be produced as a single piece, without the need to weld or attach individual components together. One-piece shapes can provide extra strength, with few or no weak spots that can be compromised or stressed.”


Read the full article at https://www.qats.com/cms/2019/06/07/3-d-printed-heat-exchangers-provide-flexibility-in-thermal-management.

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