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Innovative Heat Exchangers NATHENA

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NATHENA is a European Cleansky2 project proposed by Liebherr Aerospace that is focused on new generation heat exchangers. It aims to assess the potential improvements that additive manufacturing can bring in this area. Heat exchangers are products with very complex architectures, where any new shape possibility can bring significant gains.

The objective is to develop two innovative heat exchangers for the aeronautical industry. One is a "pre-cooler," allowing the pre-cooling of hot air taken directly from the turbo-engines of an airliner. The second is a "cooler," located further downstream in the air conditioning chain of the aircraft, allowing the air to be cooled again for later use. Due to their positioning, the pre-cooler will be designed in Inconel 718 as it is subject to very high temperatures, while the cooler will be designed in Aluminum AlSi7Mg, as it is subject to temperatures suitable for this alloy. The ambition of the project is to design heat exchangers that are as efficient as the existing ones but with a reduced mass and volume. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how additive manufacturing can introduce new innovative designs.
  • Understand how additive manufacturing can help designing effective heat exchangers.