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Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of Numerically Optimized Wavy Microchannels Created Through Additive Manufacturing

[+] Author and Article Information
Kathryn L. Kirsch

Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: kathryn.kirsch@psu.edu

Karen A. Thole

Department of Mechanical and
Nuclear Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received September 5, 2017; final manuscript received September 10, 2017; published online November 7, 2017. Editor: Kenneth Hall.

J. Turbomach 140(2), 021002 (Nov 07, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: TURBO-17-1149; doi: 10.1115/1.4038180 History: Received September 05, 2017; Revised September 10, 2017

The increased design space offered by additive manufacturing (AM) can inspire unique ideas and different modeling approaches. One tool for generating complex yet effective designs is found in numerical optimization schemes, but until relatively recently, the capability to physically produce such a design had been limited by manufacturing constraints. In this study, a commercial adjoint optimization solver was used in conjunction with a conventional flow solver to optimize the design of wavy microchannels, the end use of which can be found in gas turbine airfoil skin cooling schemes. Three objective functions were chosen for two baseline wavy channel designs: minimize the pressure drop between channel inlet and outlet, maximize the heat transfer on the channel walls, and maximize the ratio between heat transfer and pressure drop. The optimizer was successful in achieving each objective and generated significant geometric variations from the baseline study. The optimized channels were additively manufactured using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and printed reasonably true to the design intent. Experimental results showed that the high surface roughness in the channels prevented the objective to minimize pressure loss from being fulfilled. However, where heat transfer was to be maximized, the optimized channels showed a corresponding increase in Nusselt number.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Four 45-deg arcs formed the path along which a rectangle was swept to create the wavy channel. Flow goes from left to right [1].

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Fig. 2

The two baseline cases of wavy channels are used in the optimization study. Forty percent of the coupon length is shown. Flow is from left to right [1].

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Fig. 3

Optimization results for the λ = 0.1 L case. (a) Top down view of channel outlines at 50% channel height. (b) Change in cross-sectional area through each optimized channel, normalized by the baseline cross-sectional area. (c) and (d) Velocity vectors superimposed on nondimensional temperature contours near the beginning of the channels. (e) and (f) Velocity vectors superimposed on nondimensional temperature contours near the end of the channels.

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Fig. 4

Optimization results for the λ = 0.4 L case. (a) Top down view of channel outlines at 50% channel height. (b) Change in cross-sectional area through each optimized channel, normalized by the baseline cross-sectional area. (c) and (d) Velocity vectors superimposed on nondimensional temperature contours near the beginning of the channels. (d) and (e) Velocity vectors superimposed on nondimensional temperature contours near the end of the channels.

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Fig. 5

Build orientation and dimensions of test coupons

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Fig. 6

CT Scan results from the λ = 0.1 L optimized DMLS channels. (a) Change in cross-sectional area of the optimized DMLS channels, normalized by the baseline DMLS channel. Only 50% of the coupon length is shown. (b) Channel wall outlines of each of the DMLS channels, at the same location as in Fig. 3(d).

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Fig. 7

CT Scan results from the λ = 0.4 L optimized DMLS channels. (a) Change in cross-sectional area of the optimized DMLS channels, normalized by the baseline DMLS channel. Only 50% of the coupon length is shown. (b) Channel wall outlines of each of the DMLS channels, at the same location as in Fig. 3(d).

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Fig. 8

Test facility used for pressure loss and heat transfer measurements through the optimized wavy channel test coupons

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Fig. 9

Friction factor versus Reynolds number for all optimized coupons, plus the baseline coupons

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Fig. 10

Friction factor augmentation from the optimized channels relative to their baseline cases. (a) λ = 0.1 L cases and (b) λ = 0.4 L cases.

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Fig. 11

Nusselt number versus Reynolds number for all optimized coupons, plus the baseline coupons

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Fig. 12

Nusselt factor augmentation from the optimized channels relative to their baseline cases. (a) λ = 0.1 L cases and (b) λ = 0.4 L cases.

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Fig. 13

Heat transfer augmentation versus friction factor augmentation to the one third power

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