America Makes Awards Heat Exchange Project Funds

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – America Makes, also known as the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, announced two awards Wednesday funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

America Makes will award $2.7 million in Air Force Research Laboratory toward these projects, described as a” directed project opportunity on conformal heat exchanges, “with $1.4 million in matching cost share from the awarded projects teams for total funding worth $4.1 million. The projects are expected to start this summer.

The objective of directed project is to demonstrate the use of laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing processes for fabricating heat exchangers for propulsion applications. Each of the technical tasks are to be performed on one of  three classes of metallic materials: nickel-based alloys, aluminum alloys, and titanium alloys.

Subject to finalization of contract details and requirements, funds will be awarded to two teams led by Honeywell Aerospace and United Technologies Research Center.

Honeywell, in conjunction with 3D Systems Corp. and Pennsylvania State University, will focus on developing a heat exchanger that will best address issues such as thermal fatigue, envelope optimization, pressure drop, flow distribution and thermal performance with designs that feature high thermodynamic efficiency.

United Technologies Research Center, in partnership with United Technologies Aerospace Systems and Pratt & Whitney, and with Stratonics, 3DSIM, and the University of Connecticut, will attempt to address the fundamental risks and gaps in additive manufacturing processes.

“Going into this directed project opportunity,” said John Wilczynski, America Makes deputy director of technology development, “we anticipated proposal submissions that showcased strong member teaming and explored how to prove and demonstrate higher-performing and lower-cost conformal [heat exchanges], including the identification of any lead-time improvements and potentially allowing higher specific performance.”

Advanced manufacturing offers the heat exchange field design freedoms that aren’t possible using traditional manufacturing processes, Wilczynski continued. Both the Air Force lab and the defense community stand to benefit from the projects, he said.

SOURCE: America Makes

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.