Advanced Heat Exchanger bsed on 3D Woven Metal Wires

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

3tex, Inc.
109 MacKenan Drive
Cary, NC 27511
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


A heat exchanger must balance an ability to transfer heat to a fluid with the amount of power required to move the fluid through the heat exchanger. For most systems, heat transfer is largely driven by the material¿s thermal conductivity and the structure¿s surface-area-to-volume ratio. Increasing the latter factor increases the heat exchanger¿s capacity or reduces the exchanger¿s size. A promising structure that achieves a large increase in surface-area-to-volume ratio, while maintaining low fluid flow restriction, is an air-side heat exchanger based on 3-D woven metal wires. Published research on 3-D woven Al wire heat exchangers demonstrated heat transfer rates exceeding the performance of state-of-the art fin structures. This project will demonstrate the concept¿s feasibility by the design, fabrication, and testing of a prototype heat exchanger. Data from the testing will be used to characterize both the heat transfer and the flow restrictions of the 3-D woven structure, and provide a direct comparison to a standard structure. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Heat exchangers find application in a multitude of consumer products, transportation systems, and industrial processes. Their effectiveness should have a vital role in the energy efficiency of such systems and would have implications for energy consumption and global warming