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Novel Electron Beam Surface Sculpting for Efficient Heat Exchange (HEATSCULPTOR)
Start date: Sep 1, 2013, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

By combining a new surface engineering process with state-of-the-art thermal modelling, significant design and performance improvements to heat exchangers for electronic and electrical systems can be made. The surface designs created will not only provide an increase in surface area (allowing for smaller size heat exchanger packaging), but also enable ‘designed’ flow over a surface (which will enhance its heat transfer potential). These benefits will place a consortium of SMEs in a position to compete against competition from countries with cheaper labour overheads and the potential for charging a price premium for specialised systems, increasing their profitability and generating value in the EU economy.There is a drive towards miniaturisation of electronic devices as well as requirements for higher power applications. The size of the heat exchangers necessary is the limiting factor for package size. By combining a European surface processing technology with complex computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling, heat exchange surfaces will be customised and optimised. The result will be optimised, efficient heat exchangers for the next generation of electronic devices.Conventional heat exchanger manufacturing processes are extensively developed and only small future efficiency improvements are likely to arise. The Heat-Sculptor project will generate an enabling technology that will increase the performance of heat exchangers by >23%. Until now, designs have been constrained by production technologies e.g. machining or chemical etching. The new electron beam surface engineering process, Surfi-Sculpt®, has the capability to rapidly create complex ‘Heat-Sculptor’ surface geometries that are not possible with existing techniques.

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