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Advanced Aerospace Heat Exchanger Design, Performance and Manufacturing

Academic lead
Duncan Borman (Civil Engineering)
Industrial lead
Steve Smith, BAE Systems Warton
Jon Summers (Mechanical Engineering), Alan Burns (Chemical and Process Engineering)
Project themes
Microflows & heat transfer

Future advanced aircraft face an appreciable technical challenge to design thermal management systems of adequate capacity within the available space. Various heat exchangers (HE) constitute key components within aircraft thermal management systems, the achieved heat transfer performance for a given size, and flexibility of physical shaping, can have a strong determining effect on overall system performance and feasibility.
This research will investigate and evaluate novel heat exchanger (HE) design for future high performance aircraft thermal management systems. It will build on a previous Leeds CDT project where a new modelling framework was established and evaluated. Research will look to identify and evaluate opportunities to significantly improve thermal management performance through novel HE design. This PhD will focus on 3 core aspects: (a) developing capability to account for two-phase flow HE behaviour (evaporators & condensers), (b) to demonstrate HE design enhancements with 3-D printing/additive layer manufacturing (ALM), and (c) the modelling and simulation process for
generation of initial HE design options (both single and two-phase flows) during aircraft system design concept work.
The project is sponsored by BAE Systems who will provide expertise and support including access to their advanced manufacture facilities that may be used to produce and test HE proof-of-concept demonstrators.