Laser keyhole welding for microlaminating a high-temperature microchannel array Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h128ng96w

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  • Microchannel process technology (MPT) components are chemical unit operations which exploit highly-parallel arrays of microchannels to process large fluid volumes for portable and distributed applications. Microchannel heat exchangers (MCHXs) have demonstrated 3 to 5 times higher heat fluxes when compared to conventional heat exchangers resulting in proportionate reductions in size and weight. The most common fabrication approach for producing MPT components is microchannel lamination, or microlamination, in which thin layers of metal or polymer are patterned with microchannel features, registered, and bonded to produce monolithic components. Currently, the most common microlamination architecture involves the photochemical machining and diffusion bonding of metal foils. Prior work has established that the yields in diffusion bonding often drive the costs of MCHXs. Laser keyhole welding has been proposed as an alternative bonding technology providing the potential for faster cycle times, smaller weld widths and layer-to-layer evaluation of hermeticity leading to higher yields. Furthermore, laser weldments have small heat-affected zones providing excellent mechanical strength. In this study, efforts are made to evaluate the feasibility of using laser welding in the microlamination of a high-temperature counter-flow heat exchanger made of a Ni superalloy. Preliminary efforts were focused on the development and validation of weld strength estimation models. These models were then used to narrow down the range of process parameters and a final set of process parameters was determined through the use of a full factorial experiment with weld strength, joining efficiency and weld gap as response variables. The most acceptable parameter set was used to demonstrate the fabrication of a Haynes 214 microchannel array with adequate bond strength and hermeticity and minimal thermal warpage.
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