3D printed heat exchanger uses gyroid filler for cooling

3D printing enables the physical fabrication of some unique geometries that are simply not possible with other processes. If you design around these strengths, it’s possible to create pieces that dramatically outperform more conventional alternatives. With that in mind [Advanced Engineering Solutions] created a 3D-printed metal heat exchanger half the size and four times more efficient than the one it was supposed to replace. Video after the break.

Gyroid filling divides an internal volume in half, perfect for heat exchangers.

Made from an aluminum alloy using a Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) machine, the heat exchanger is intended to cool the transmission oil of military helicopters using fuel as the cooling fluid. cooling. Looking somewhat like a Fabergé egg, it uses gyroid “filling” for the actual heat exchange part. An interesting feature of gyroids is that they create two separate entangled volumes, making them perfect for this application.

It was printed in one piece, with no removable supports, just an internal lattice that supports the entry and exit gyroids. The only post-processing required was threading and surface cleaning on the ports. As metal 3D printing is still too expensive to allow many iterative prints, significant design and simulation time was spent before the first print.

Whether you’re printing heat exchangers, enclosures, or fenders, be sure to keep the strengths (and weaknesses) of 3D printing in mind.

thanks for the advice [Keith Olson]!