Since HiETA’s beginnings, heat exchangers have been at the centre of our research and development activities. Indeed, the IP on which the company was founded was in the application of metal powder-bed AM processes for the manufacture of compact heat exchangers. The reason this was, and remains, “core” to HiETA’s offering is that we believe that producing compact heat exchangers, particularly those made of high-temperature capable materials such as Inconel 625, through Additive Manufacturing, provides compelling technical and commercial benefits.
HiETA have developed high-temperature compact heat exchangers for various heat engines and have demonstrated significant benefits over those produced through forming and welding/brazing processes with inherent constraints and failure locations. The design freedom of the process allows us to create highly efficient heat transfer surfaces, which result in high effectiveness core technologies with minimal pressure drop. The freedoms of the process also allow our designers to employ novel manifold optimisation techniques to ensure flow distribution to the core is such that the performance of the unit is maximised.
- Inconel 625
- Inconel 718
- CM 247LC
- SS316 L
The opportunity is enhanced in applications where package space is limited as these core and manifold benefits can be formed into novel shapes to fit the design space available. We also optimise these shapes to reduce thermal and pressure losses using our expert knowledge in conjugate heat transfer modelling. HiETA continues to innovate in the area of high-temperature compact heat exchangers through the integration of these high performing units with other components. For example, we have demonstrated the benefits in terms of cost and performance of integrating recuperators into turbine housings and combustor cans in MGTs.
To support these innovations, HiETA have developed material data sets for a portfolio of materials including nickel superalloys such as Inconel 625 through tensile and fatigue testing of representative core geometry. Through its group of partners, it also has the capability to validate performance at high mass flow rates and temperatures. Furthermore, thermo-mechanical endurance is ensured through extensive experience in finite element analysis of complex heat exchanger models and experimental validation through material testing and transient cycling of scaled and full-size compact heat exchanger’s articles. Historic applications explored by HiETA include recuperator used to increase efficiency in Brayton cycle MGTs and heat exchangers in exhaust heat recovery such as the inverted Brayton cycle. The benefits of HiETA compact heat exchangers are also realised quicker, as without the need for tooling, and with its extensive library of performance and materials data, we can rapidly realise these benefits and meet your application requirements.