Enhanced Strength Aerospace Carbon Foam Heat Exchanger
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Touchstone Research Laboratory and its partners propose to investigate the utilization of lightweight and efficient carbon foam for heat exchangers in aircraft. In general, carbon foams have the potential to be a revolutionary material in aerospace due totheir light weight and thermal management capabilities. CFOAMr should meet the cost criteria since it is produced from bituminous coal and is much more affordable compared with petroleum coke and pitch foams. The thermal conductivity of CFOAMr can alsobe tailored to meet the thermal conductivity requirements for many heat exchanger applications in aerospace. However, higher strengths are needed to withstand high engine bleed-air pressures.Phase I efforts will demonstrate feasibility of carbon foam by developing proof-of-concept core components with enhanced strength and thermal conductivity, yet maintain low density and cost. Density, cell size and porosity will be tailored to yield acarbon foam material with optimal structural and thermal properties for heat exchangers. A full scale carbon foam heat exchanger will be delivered in Phase II for thermal and pressure drop testing. The carbon foam heat exchanger has the potential to be a highly efficient, lightweight, and affordable replacement to current heat exchanger technologies in aerospace. Significant improvements are expected to current heat exchanger designs such asintercoolers, precoolers and cooling shrouds. Applying CFOAMr technology to vapor-cycle heat pump designs may help overcome their two major design constraints, i.e., compact design and limited heat-sink size. The vapor-cycle heat pump is being consideredas an alternative cooling system for avionic and electronic packaging upgrades on today's deployed aircraft such as the F-16. They currently obtain cooling from the aircraft's environmental control system that is driven with bleed air taken from the jetengine compressor, (reference article by Mr. Steve Benning, AFRL document IF-99-02).
Small Business Information at Submission:
Dwayne R. Morgan
Brian E. Joseph
TOUCHSTONE RESEARCH LABORATORY, LTD.
The Millennium Centre, R.R. 1, Box 100B Triadelphia, WV 26059
Number of Employees: