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New Additive manufacTuring Heat ExchaNger for Aeronautic

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - NATHENA (New Additive manufacTuring Heat ExchaNger for Aeronautic)

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-11-30

The aim of "New AddiTive manufacturing Heat ExchaNger for Aeronautic" project is to develop a complex compact air-air heat exchange design by additive manufacturing. The new exchanger will provide an efficient thermal management system dedicated to hybrid propulsion system.

Usually, a poor design of the distributor may cause a loss of efficiency of the heat exchanger. The use of "additive layer manufacturing" step allow to improve design of the whole heat exchanger unit design and therefore the performance and the robustness/compactness the thermal system.

Accordingly, the research activities of the NATHENA project focus on the following four main objectives:
1. Adaptability and modularity of the internal structure and global modelling of the Compact Heat exchanger: this approach will allow to propose a modular heat exchanger and to adapt any kind of local structure to any global sizing with the best thermo-hydraulic performances and with a minimized mass.
2. Reconstruction of a CAD (Computer Aided Design) model with a Representative Model obtained from the simulation to harmonized methodologies will then make it possible to generate the complex structure of the heat exchanger.
3. Additive manufacture of innovative heat exchanger allowing mass reduction and/or performance improvement.
4. Aerothermal diagnostic of compact heat exchanger evolutionary structures: to conduct detailed experimental determination of the aerothermal performance of new concept of compact heat exchanger.

The outcome for this new complex and compact heat exchanger has led to a lighter and more performant heat exchanger. These two features have directly led to a reduction of fuel consumption. In addition, the development of new generation of heat exchangers manufactured in 3D printing have directly participate to the ecological transition with a less consummation of raw materials and a strong limitation waste.
The WP1 concerns financial, risk and project management activities.
The rigorous management of the project allows and will allow to reach the technical impacts that we have targeted.

During the reporting Period, the WP2 has been finished. We have established the state of art about the heat exchangers, dealing with design, simulation, optimization, manufacturing and tests. A state of the art of patents has been performed also.

The WP3 concerns the improvement of selected structures in accordance with defined parameters. The different thermal and mechanical simulations led on the structures allowed the consortium to approach the final heat exchanger internal structure pattern.

The WP4 concerns the tests of single elementary channels of the simplify heat exchanger made at this step of NATHENA project. Dedicated test facilities by means of advanced measurement techniques have been developed for NATHENA project.

The WP7 deals with Innovation management. We have submitted to the EC, a Data Management Plan & the Plan for Exploitation and Dissemination of results. Also, an article has been dedicated to NATHENA on every partner website and a first newsletter has been communicated on different media (partners website, linkedin ...).

Following the closure of reporting period number 3, all WPs have been completed in line with the project expectations and submitted to the EC website.
Exploitation and dissemination:

The plan for exploitation and dissemination of results (PEDR) is a deliverable of the project (D7.1). The first version has been delivered in June 2018. A first update of this deliverable has been published in March 2020. See in Annex 1 for the updated deliverable.

The communication and dissemination activities, presented in the Part A of the periodic report, have been tracked and registered during the 58th months of the project.

A very complete communication was carried out in a complementary way by all the partners of the project, with different targets: Mainly the general public, industrialists from various sectors who could potentially be interested in the technology, the scientific community.

To do this, the team participates in a variety of events: conferences, workships, publications in press conferences, non-scientific journals, social networks, etc. (See the figures in the "Dissemination & communication activities" section of the EC website).
Technical aspect :

About the compact heat exchanger, the ambition of NATHENA Project is to push over limitations of current global compact heat exchanger design by using additive manufacturing, new methodologies of simulations and design, to optimize a new compact heat exchanger.

The heat exchangers have been designed for the following order of magnitude:
Max inlet temperature: 100°C to 500°C
Air Flow: 0.5kg/s to 2kg/s
Power: 0.5 to 500kW
Reynolds number: 400 to 10000
Pressure drop: 100mBar max
Size: up to 350x350x350mm

The values achieved during the tests will depend on the capacities of the test facilities.

The Nathena project made it possible, for all the applications tested within the framework of the project, to determine the geometry of the internal intensification structures, giving the best compromise between the thermal and mechanical performances, the mass of the equipment and its manufacturability on a 3D printed heat exchanger. We were able to capitalise on these results to build a database of intensification structures with their advantages and disadvantages in each field.

In addition, the project has allowed us to develop simulation methodologies using homogeneous materials or fluids. We have so far been able to recalibrate the methodology to validate the thermo-fluidic simulations. Mechanical testing is planned to be carried out during July 2021. We will then be able to compare with our mechanical simulations.

Furthermore, a major effort has been made on the manufacturing process. Laser strategies have been developed. Numerous manufacturing tests on specimens or double channels were carried out, which allowed us to optimise the overall geometry, but also the local geometry of the channels and the intensification structures to obtain functional parts. De-welding proved to be problematic on a double channel in inconel. This allows us to keep in mind this very important aspect of the manufacturing process for the development and manufacturing of the final exchangers.

Others aspects :

The aerodynamics of the aircraft nacelle has been significantly improved by freeing up the possible shapes to be manufactured through the NATHENA project. This allows the energy consumption to be limited and therefore the CO2 and NOX emissions to be reduced.
This project allows the participants, all European, to increase their knowledge in fields already mastered, but also allows to open new perspectives in new domains, such as the consideration of roughness in simulations. This allows those actors to increase the gap with their competitors and to benefit their customers.
The electrification of aircraft and cleaner propulsion, particularly through hydrogen, will play an increasingly important role in aviation. Some end-users have identified this project as a technological brick of great interest for the thermal management of future aircraft. This project will allow the sector to grow in strength in the coming decades.
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