AIMS Energy, 2020, 8(1): 27-47. doi: 10.3934/energy.2020.1.27.

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3D-printed tubes with complex internal fins for heat transfer enhancement—CFD analysis and performance evaluation

1 Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2 Visiting scholar from Xi’an Aerospace Propulsion Technology Institute, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710025, China
3 Visiting scholar from Central American Technological University, Tegucigalpa, Republic of Honduras
4 Visiting scholar from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710049, China

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing technology, is applied to fabricate complex fin structures for heat transfer enhancement at inner surface of tubes, which conventional manufacturing technology cannot make. This work considered rectangular fins, scale fins, and delta fins with staggered alignment at the inner wall of heat transfer tubes for heat transfer enhancement of internal flows. Laminar flow convective heat transfer at 500 < Re < 2000 has been numerically studied, and heat transfer performance of the tubes with 3D-printed interrupted fins has been compared to that with conventional straight continuous fins and smooth tubes. The benefit from heat transfer enhancement and the loss due to increased pumping pressure is evaluated using the total entropy generation rate in the control volume of heat transfer tube. The heat transfer coefficient in tubes with interrupted fins in staggered arrangement can have 2.6 times of that of smooth tube and 1.4 times of that with conventional continuous straight fins. The entropy generation in the tubes with interrupted fins in staggered arrangement only has 30–50% of that of smooth tube or tube with traditional continuous straight fins. The benefit of using interrupted fins in staggered arrangement is significant.
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Keywords 3D printing; complex internal fins; heat transfer enhancement; laminar flow; CFD analysis

Citation: Chao Wei, Gabriel Alexander Vasquez Diaz, Kun Wang, Peiwen Li. 3D-printed tubes with complex internal fins for heat transfer enhancement—CFD analysis and performance evaluation. AIMS Energy, 2020, 8(1): 27-47. doi: 10.3934/energy.2020.1.27


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