A comparison of metal-foam heat exchangers to compact multilouver designs for air-side heat transfer applications

Z. Dai, K. Nawaz, Y. Park, Q. Chen, A. M. Jacobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High-porosity metal foams, with novel thermal, mechanical, electrical, and acoustic properties, are being more widely used in various industrial applications. In this paper, open-cell aluminum foam is considered as a highly compact replacement for conventional louver fins in brazed aluminum heat exchangers. A model based on the -NTU method is developed to compare the flat-tube, serpentine louver-fin heat exchanger to the flat-tube metal-foam heat exchanger. The two heat exchangers are subjected to identical thermal-hydraulic requirements, and volume, mass, and cost of the metal-foam and louver-fin designs are compared. The results show that the same performance is achieved using the metal-foam heat exchanger but a lighter and smaller heat exchanger is required. However, the cost of the metal-foam heat exchanger is currently much higher than that of the louver-fin heat exchanger, because of the high price of metal foams. If the price of metal foam falls to equal that of louver-fin stock (per unit mass), then the metal-foam heat exchanger will be less expensive, smaller, and lighter than the louver-fin heat exchanger, with identical thermal performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalHeat Transfer Engineering
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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