HiETA has developed a complimentary set of thermal management and light weighting technologies. These can be deployed in a monodisciplinary way such as in heat exchangers or lightweight structural components or in combination such as in load-carrying heat exchangers or cooled rotating turbo machinery components.
HiETA has developed a set of proprietary heat transfer surfaces that exploit the shape freedoms offered Additive Manufacturing to realised Volume Goodness factors approximately five times better than ‘conventional’ surfaces.
Our proprietary AM heat transfer surfaces show volume goodness factors >5x conventional surfaces
Moreover, it is seen that different heat transfer solutions are best suited to different conditions. In practice this means that our heat exchanges can be up-to ten times smaller than available elsewhere as more widely optimal designs are possible.
The use of additive manufacturing allows for full implementation of lightweight design principles and cutting-edge topology optimisation approaches.
Typical weight savings realised are around one third by an affordable switch to high specific strength titanium alloys afforded by the use of Additive Manufacturing, and a further one third via the application of topology optimisation tools. HiETA is a high-experienced user of the Altair HyperWorks suite and specifically the OptiStruct linear and non-linear structural analysis solver.
In another approach HiETA has developed a complimentary set of patent-pending technologies for hybrid metal-carbon fibre spaceframe structures. By placing high specific strength at nodes where stresses are high, and multiaxial and high specific stiffness carbon fibre tubes in the interconnects where stresses are lower and uniaxial or near-uniaxial, the performance of all-composite structures can be achieved or exceeded.
To compliment this HiETA has developed novel in-built internal mechanical interlocking strategies that can negate the need for a physical mechanical fixing (i.e. a bolt) in an adhesively bonded/co-bonded configuration.
Combined light weighting and thermal management
An exciting area is simultaneous light weighting and cooling. Currently there are two primary routes by which this is achieved:
- The use of various types of lattice structure that are efficient for heat transfer and pressure drop as well as being structurally efficient.
- Parts where a topological optimisation reveals galleries that can be further shape optimised to minimise pressure drop and maximise heat transfer. A final structural refinement and check-stress results in parts that are up-to thirty percent lighter than the reference part and that also have a cooling function reducing metal temperatures by up to 100°C.