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Tilt Rotor Heat Exchanger

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TiltHex (Tilt Rotor Heat Exchanger)

Período documentado: 2019-05-01 hasta 2020-07-31

Aerospace heat exchanger technology has stagnated for many years due to the constraints of conventional manufacturing processes. However, the evolution of new processes such as high-speed machining and additive manufacturing are removing constraints imposed by conventional manufacturing processes and are enabling the design and manufacture of innovative heat exchangers. By utilising advanced manufacturing techniques such as high speed machining and additive manufacturing, aerospace heat exchangers can become smaller, lighter, and more efficient.

As technology has developed and the limitations of conventional manufacturing process are removed, the demand on aerospace thermal management products has increased rapidly. Thermal dissipation requirements have increased and space availability has decreased. Moreover, environmentally aware consumers and growing legislation are forcing aircraft manufacturers to develop quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft. These demands are driving products such as heat exchangers to become lighter, smaller, more efficient and easier to integrate within other systems of the aircraft. By increasing the efficiency of heat exchangers, aero-engine fuel efficiency will be improved which subsequently reduce the carbon footprint to benefit our society and help address environmental challenges today's generation face.

HS Marston Aerospace, a Collins Aerospace organisation, is one of the world’s leading suppliers in heat transfer and fluid management products for the military and commercial aerospace markets and electronics industries. The organisation boasts an impressive 275 year history and has provided aerospace products for over 100 years. Under the framework of the H2020 programme, HS Marston Aerospace set out to develop an innovative Air Cooled Oil Cooler heat exchanger for Leonardo Helicopter's Tilt Rotor Engine. The objective was to deliver an innovative heat exchanger that utilised the freedom offered by advanced manufacturing techniques in order to help reduce overall system weight, reduce fuel consumption, and improve reliability and safety. Additionally, the project will aim to reduce waste material through the manufacturing process, decrease the development time of future products, and sustain engineering jobs within the European Economic Area.
Two heat exchanger concepts were developed throughout the project. The first concept was the Intermediate Hybrid Laminate Air Cooled Oil Cooler (ACOC) made from a combination of HS Marston Aerospace’s (HSMA) innovative laminate technology and existing plate-fin technology. The second concept was the Next-Generation Additively Manufactured (AM) ACOC.

A study was completed to assess different heat transfer surfaces and size the initial dimensions of the ACOC concepts. Whilst an additively manufactured ACOC concept was smaller than ACOC's produced using other technologies, the overall size of the AM ACOC required to deliver the heat exchanger outputs required for the Tilt Rotor engine exceeded the machine bed size of commercially available additive machines. It was therefore concluded that it was not possible to deliver an AM ACOC without significant alterations to the project plan or objectives stated within the GA.

The Intermediate Laminate ACOC has successfully been developed to Preliminary Design standard. Different heat transfer surfaces were assessed and CFD analysis was conducted on novel pin geometries to improve the performance of the ACOC whilst also decreasing the size and weight. The studies of heat transfer surfaces and pin geometries completed as part of this project have shown that improvements in heat exchanger technology can be achieved
It was expected that the innovative ACOC would contribute to the delivery of a Tilt Rotor engine that achieved a reduction in system weight, reduced fuel consumption and improved fuel efficiency, reduced noise, and an improvement in reliability and safety. These impacts and objectives would be achieved by applying advanced manufacturing techniques to the ACOC. The laminate technology has showned that all of the impacts listed above can be achieved. The project has also helped to sustain design and engineering jobs in high-value-added activities in Europe, reduction in the amounts of waste material, and a reduction in aircraft component development time.