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Advance in Microchannel Manufacturing Opens New Industry Applications

Engineers at Oregon State University invent a new way to use surface-mount adhesives in the production of low-temperature, microchannel heat exchangers

Story content courtesy of Oregon State University, College of Engineering, US

This advanced way to use surface-mount adhesives will make this promising technology much less expensive for many commercial applications.

“Even though microchannel arrays have enormous potential for more efficient heat transfer and chemical reactions, high production costs have so far held back the broad, mainstream use of the technology,” said Brian Paul, a professor in the OSU School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. He adds, “In certain applications, this new approach has reduced material costs by 50 percent…and cut production bonding costs by more than 90 percent.”

These very thin pieces of patterned metal – akin to aluminum foil – can be bonded one on top of another to increase the number of microchannels in a heat exchanger, and the amount of fluid that can be processed. Creation of laminated microchannel arrays in a wide variety of materials is possible, including aluminum, copper, titanium, stainless steel and other metals.

University officials are now seeking a commercial partner in private industry to continue development and marketing of the technology.

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