A novel manufacturing process for expanding the tubes of fin-tube type heat exchangers using a three-dimensional (3D) spiral expanding ball fabricated via metal additive manufacturing was proposed for the manufacture of highly efficient heat exchangers. To improve the heat transfer efficiency of fin-tube type heat exchangers, fine grooves are generally formed inside a tube to increase the heat transfer area. However, the height of a groove is commonly reduced when a tube is expanded for tightening with fins. To address this issue, a 3D expanding ball with spiral grooves was first developed and used in the expansion process. In conventional tube expansion, the height reduction of grooves is approximately 10.3 %. However, we demonstrated that it was dramatically improved, reaching approximately 1.7 %, when the proposed process with a 3D expanding ball was applied. We believe that this approach can be used in practical industries to manufacture highly efficient fin-tube heat exchangers.
Fin-tube heat exchanger Three-dimensional spiral expanding ball Expansion process Metal additive manufacturing Oil-less expanding process
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This work was supported by the “Human Resources Program in Energy Technology” of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning and granted financial resources by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20184010201660). Furthermore, it was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2017R1D1A1A09000923).
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