Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Manufacturing Process Design for a Stamped Microchannel High-Temperature Recuperator Public Deposited

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  • Microchannel high temperature recuperators have the advantage of higher heat transfer coefficients and lower size and weight than traditional high temperature recuperators. However, the industrial application of microchannel recuperators are restricted by the high cost of photochemical machining and diffusion bonding. The objective of this paper is to introduce a manufacturing process design of a microchannel high-temperature recuperator produced by stamping and laser welding. The potential cost of the 3.5 kWt recuperator is estimated based on a conceptual design of the manufacturing process. Subsequently, experiments are conducted to validate that cost model by demonstrating process capability. A stamping vendor was contracted to produce stamped Inconel 625 laminae. The laminae were laser welded together into a sub-scale high temperature recuperator that was evaluated in terms of effectiveness and pressure drop. The recuperator was tested at an operating pressure of 207 kPa (30psi) and an operating temperature of 200°C and found to be within 2.7% of its expected effectiveness at a mass flow rate of 0.99 g/s. However, pressure drops were found to be 2.5 to 4.5 times what was expected at this flow rate. Therefore, additional work is needed to reduce malformations within the structure produced during fabrication. Pressure drops could be lowered by designing a fixture to control clamping pressures during the gas tungsten arc welding of the housing. Further, internal support features are needed within cold flow channels to help prevent channel collapse brought on by springback in stamping and residual stresses in laser welding.
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  • 2019-07-26 to 2020-02-26



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