Conference Dates

July 1-6, 2007

First Page



Micro heat exchangers, which until recently have been implemented only at laboratory scale, are now being available for industrial applications. They are well known for their superior heat transfer properties due to the large surface-to-volume ratio. But there are little data available on the long term stability of these devices. In this paper application several application examples for micro heat exchangers made of stainless steel are presented. The devices consist of stainless steel foils providing numerous micro channels generated by mechanical micromachining or wet chemical etching. A number of the foils are arranged in a specific way and bonded together. Device property descriptions as well as some possible application examples show the potential of metallic microstructure devices. Results on two crossflow microstructure heat exchangers running in long term tests are presented. Both devices have been tested for more than 8000 hours each, using deionised water as test fluid. Experimental data on the heat transfer properties and the pressure drop are given and compared. It was found that the heat transfer capabilities were significantly decreased within the first few hundred hours of testing and then run into a saturation state. Performance degradation may be due to a fouling layer deposited on the heat exchange surface. Some other experimental applications in which fouling was expected to cause problems are described briefly.