Additively Manufactured Record High Thermal Conductivity Cross- Media Polymer Composite Heat Exchanger

The Clark School’s Advanced Heat Exchangers and Process Intensification (AHX-PI) Laboratory led by mechanical engineering Professor Michael Ohadi at the University of Maryland, College Park, has successfully developed a novel Polymer Composite Heat Exchanger (CHX) enabled by an innovative Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique, to yield superior thermal performance at reduced pressure drops and with substantial weight reduction, when compared to state of the art corresponding heat exchangers. The effective thermal conductivity of this polymer heat exchanger is ~115 W/(m-K), which is record high. The most recent, generation III (Gen III) 3D printer design has a speed that is over 200 times faster than its first generation (Gen I). Our future designs call for additional boost in the production speed, quality and reliability of the product, while keeping the cost and weight of the heat exchanger well below state of the art alternative heat exchangers. This ARPAE-supported heat exchanger technology has diverse thermal management applications and a demonstrated potential to introduce transformative changes to the way heat exchangers are designed, fabricated, and utilized in the field.

At the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-e) summit that took place in March 2018 in Washington, DC, the UMD team was among the few teams invited to present their project to a large audience at the Summit. Link: here

At the summit, Voice of America interviewed the team as one of the distinguished projects being documented and chosen to be advertised. Link here.

Patent No. PCT/US17/55521

Benefits: High conductivity fins pass directly through polymer walls. Achieves record-high thermal conductivity polymer composites Yields robust, low cost, and low weight HXs.

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