Project Title Design and Fabrication of an Additively Manufactured Vapor Chamber Heat Exchanger for Space Applications
Name of Student(s) Jelani Guise, Ibrahim Alghamdi, Yasser Alghamdi, Drew Gray
Name of Advisor(s) Jiajun Xu, Calin Tarau*, Mike Ellis* (*External collaborator)
External Sponsors NASA CAM-STAR grant #80NSSC19M0196
Project Abstract In space exploration, the thermal management system is an essential and critical system that helps ensure that the electronic components within the spacecraft function correctly under extreme environment conditions. Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sinks are ideal for a wide variety of applications because the latent heat associated with melting and freezing can store much more heat than sensible thermal storage alone. Both manned and unmanned spacecraft can benefit from PCM heat exchangers (HX). PCM Vapor Chamber Concept: for spacecraft thermal management applications, it is essential to reduce the overall mass of on-board thermal storage system and minimize the temperature fluctuation when the environmental temperature changes dramatically. One method to maximize the mass ratio is to replace the solid heat transfer medium with the two-phase working fluid, which also reduces the thermal resistance can be reduced significantly. This project focuses on fabricating this heat exchanger using additive manufacturing method all at once. The additive manufacturing system used here is EOS M280 Direct Metal Lase Sintering system. Through this approach, it has eliminated the need of spacer and significantly reduced the assembly time and tedious vacuum process needed. The performance of this system is modeled to validate this current design. The results have shown the advantage of this new manufacturing technique and the possibility of further improve current design to allow higher thermal performance and better mass ratio.
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