Synthesis of a Compact Tetralattice Heat Exchanger using Solid Freeform Fabrication and Comparison Testing Against a Tube Heat Exchanger
The challenge for Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) lies in fabricating complex parts that are not possible by conventional manufacturing means. The goal was to apply SFF techniques to complex geometry heat exchangers. The heat exchanger structure is modeled after the covalently bonded carbon atoms of a diamond. The tetrahedron diamond lattice, or Tetralattice, is a repeating lattice unit that forms a network of channels to form the heat exchanger. Electroforming methods creating Tetralattice were applied to synthesize an air-oil compact heat exchanger. After production, the heat exchanger was tested and compared with an industry standard heat exchanger for performance evaluation.