Recently we have seen a growing demand for additional 3D printed parts in the aerospace industry, and after the announcement that 3D systems and Honeywell International will begin working together, it would seem that the innovative industry may be moving one step closer to gaining those additional components.
The two companies will begin working together to test a new heat exchanger that would be manufactured using 3D printing. If this test proves to be a success, we will see even more 3D printed parts being used in commercial aircraft engines.
3D systems have been awarded the contract worth $1.3 million, they will be responsible for the design, build and test of an aircraft heat exchanger that will be manufactured
using 3D printers.
This partnership also comes with huge perks for the global technology leader Honeywell International. Honeywell now have direct access to 3D systems’ Direct Metal Printing (DMP) technology. They also have the added benefit of gaining access and support from the manufacturing and materials expertise of Penn State’s Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D).
Peter Meek director of Engineering Circle – registry of heat exchanger suppliers said; “The joint efforts of Honeywell International and 3D systems will be sure to revolutionise aircraft engine design and manufacture by using 3D printing technology. This collaboration could also introduce 3D printing to the multi billion dollar heat exchanger industry.”
Heat exchangers are currently used in commercial aircrafts to help improve fuel efficiency and reduce the risk of components in the fuel system freezing. It does this by taking heat from the engine’s oil system which can then be used to heat cold fuel.
Honeywell International are not the only industry giant to heavily invest in 3D printing in the aerospace industry. Other players like Lockheed Martin and GE aviation are also investing millions of dollars in additive manufacturing, which is more commonly known as 3D printing.
The Honeywell and 3D Systems project will be administered by America Makes and is due to launch mid year. The funding has been provided by Air Force Research Laboratory.
When explaining the decision John Wilczynski, Deputy Director of Technology for America Makes said, “Additive manufacturing offers design freedoms that are simply not possible when using traditional manufacturing processes.”
John continues; “The teaming by America Makes with industry leaders and researchers that possess substantial experience in heat exchangers and 3D printing will allow us to explore higher performing and lower-cost conformal parts. As a result, both the Air Force and the defense industry are poised to benefit greatly from this directed project.”
America Makes will also gain evaluation data from the development of the 3D printed heat exchangers which they can deliver to all their members. Members currently include all of the major defense and aerospace companies which could help encourage mainstream adoption of 3D Systems’ technology in the defense and aerospace industries. It is also likely that this data will infiltrate into Honeywell’s supply chain.
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A Scottish oil and gas instrumentation engineering company is celebrating this week after turning over ten million pounds. This is great news for JWF and for the oil and gas engineering industry as a whole, as the industry has suffered recently because of the downturn in the price of oil.
This is a record year for JWF who supply instrumentation to industries working in the oil and gas industry. Recently, the company have been focusing on supplying the North Sea oil and gas sector in particular and this seems to be paying off.
This focus has allowed the company to win a number of major contracts in the oil and gas industry. The majority of their contract wins come from companies based in the Scottish city of Aberdeen and these successful contracts are the reason for the record breaking turn over.
In fact, the company have seen its revenue quadruple over the past ten years. This is a fantastic achievement for the team and because of this revenue increase, the company have been able to increase its workforce by over fifty per cent too.
Currently, JWF have a workforce worth boasting about, as over sixty per cent of their team are qualified engineers. In order to make room for their growing workforce the company recently relocated to a bigger premises. In fact, JWF have relocated to a premises that will allow them to grow even more.
The Oil and Gas Director at JWF, Martin Kerlin explained the reason for their success. He said that they have worked hard on developing a strong reputation. This is something they have achieved because the company are now well known for their high quality products and their excellent customer service they provide to their customers.
He continued to explain that by expanding the team and services they offer, the company are now able to meet increased demand. They can now provide more customers with both engineering expertise and high quality products.
In order to better meet this demand, the company have formed the JWF group. This is made up of JWF Process Solutions, JWF Metering, JWF Instrumentation and JWF Service.
The company was formed over fifty years ago and really has gone from strength to strength. Not only have they seen their turnover surge, but the company are also now considered to be a leading supplier.
JWF are committed to offering their customers something more and will continue to build great relationships with both customers and suppliers.
Award winning actress, Emma Thompson recently revealed that she will be taking part in a protest against Shell. The British star is against the company’s oil drilling operations in the Arctic.
The star decided to make the announcement in front of Shell’s headquarters at the beginning of September. She spoke about her involvement after citing a poem she had written specifically about the protest. Many press were in the audience and heard Emma make the announcement.
In her poem, Emma Thompson told everyone listening that she will be joining many other people who will break a legal junction put in place by Shell which bans Greenpeace staff members and other activists from stepping over a line that has been drawn around the Shell HQ in London’s South Bank.
Emma confirmed that she would join others in an attempt to attach a huge paw print onto the front of the building. The paw print will include thousands of names, these names have been taken from those seven million people that have signed up to the Arctic movement.
The British actress said that Shell and its lawyers have drawn a line around its building and have banned people in the Arctic movement from stepping over the line. But, she further explained that Shell crossed a line when they started drilling in the arctic, so she and thousands of others are willing to step over their line.
Emma decided to get involved in the Arctic movement after she made a visit in 2014. Emma has further explained that she was happy to get up at four am in order to participate in the protest. She mentioned a few of the reasons why she was so passionate about this movement and climate change is one of the key reasons for her involvement.
Emma said that her grandchildren are at risk because of climate change and Emma believes that the drilling is causing substantial damage to an already fragile environment.
Emma also said that Shell have been ignoring all the warnings and scientific research. She claims that if the company continue drilling in the area until the year 2030, it would be an incredibly greedy and selfish act. She believes that the way the company currently extract oil needs to change.
Greenpeace have been protesting against the oil and gas company for a very long time and Emma Thompson is not the first celebrity to get involved in their activities. Recently, Charlotte Church has also been actively supporting Greenpeace in their protests.
Emma was also involved in moving a robot polar bear that weighs three tonnes in front of Shell’s HQ.
The robotic polar bear which had been called Aurora was around the size of a double decker bus and housed six protesters. By ensuring the polar bear held six protesters the polar bear could not be removed by the local authorities.
When it comes to checking for cracked heat exchangers we have to start with the bad news first! Unfortunately at the moment there is no perfect technique that will allow you to find every single crack you may have in a heat exchanger.
But there are many techniques that have developed over time that can help. In this article we will take a look at some of the suggested techniques to help you check for cracks in your heat exchangers.
Using your eyes to visually find a crack is probably the best and most accurate way to currently check. But, this is also one of the most difficult and time consuming processes.
A smoke bomb test is another popular suggestion and works by placing a smoke generator in the heat exchanger. By doing so you can then visually check the outside of the heat exchanger to see if any smoke passes through any cracks.
The salt test comes next and consists of spraying a salt solution in the combustion chamber. You are then advised to drill a hole in the supply ducting and hold a torch over the section where the air blows out to see if the colour changes. If the salt has come into contact with the flame the flame will change colour.
In our opinion the next suggestion is slightly easier than the last. With the blower in operation, wintergreen oil can be sprayed in the combustion chamber. To inspect for cracks you can then place yourself at the supply registers and see is the smell is still present.
Up next is one of our favourite suggestions the pressure test. The pressure test requires all of the openings in the heat exchanger to be sealed, with the blower energised a pressure sensor should be inserted into the heat exchanger. This will then check if a crack or hole allows air to blow into the heat exchanger.
A bit more on the complicated side is the tracer gas test. Like the pressure test, all openings in the heat exchanger need to be sealed. A methane tracer gas should then be inserted into the heat exchanger. You can then use a gas leak detector to look for areas where the gas is found to be escaping.
However we do need to stress that most of the above suggestions make lots of fatal assumptions and as we already stated there is no known test that works.
The first assumption we can see is to do with the temperature of the heat exchanger. The assumption is that the crack will be open when the metal from the heat exchanger is at room temperature. Many cracks will only open when the metal is hot.
Secondly there is the assumption that a leak is going to be from the flame side to the distribution side. Yes, this is the case if the vent system is not drafting and the blower is switched off but if the blower is on there is little to no chance that smoke or gasses etc will pass through a crack. When the blower energises it is likely to produce a lot of pressure outside the heat exchanger so there is a good chance that the air will be blown fire side not distribution side.
Then, there is the question of how we suspect there is a crack in the first place. Does the technician have the time, experience or is there a reason behind the assumption? There are many more assumptions that we could list but if anyone tells you a way to test for cracks that works 100 percent of the time, take it from us, they’re wrong!
Quite simply, a heat exchanger is a piece of equipment that transfers heat between two fluids. The fluids can either be in the form of a liquid or a gas and must be at different temperatures.
Where can we find heat exchangers?
One of the most common heat exchangers is found in most homes across the country, can you guess what it is? That’s right it’s a radiator.
Radiators work when hot water heats cold air which then provides enough heat to make the room in your house warm.
There are over 35 million of the second most common heat exchanger in the UK alone and you can find this heat exchanger in your car. The way that this heat exchanger works is the radiator cools the water coming from the engine with air from the atmosphere.
But heat exchanges can be found in a variety of different products and industries including factories, planes and ships.
But how do heat exchangers work exactly?
Generally all heat exchangers will work by passing fluid through tubing or piping, all whilst another fluid or gas flows around the tubes or pipes. The fluids will never come into direct contact with each other but will allow heat to be transferred. This process is what is known as a heat exchanger.
Like anything else, there are several ways to make heat exchangers work far more efficiently. For example, you can add an appliance that will increase the surface area, but by adding extras to the product you will be adding weight. Another option is to decrease the size of the tubing or piping. If you can then make thin walls you will not be adding a weight penalty.This also means you have a much lighter and more compact heat exchanger.
By having smaller piping or tubing means that you can have many more tubes or pipes. This means that you have more surface area which you can use to transfer the heat in a given volume.
There are two common types of heat exchanger which are called the shell and tube and plate and fin. In the shell and tube version, fluid will pass through a set of tubes, all while the other fluid flows through a sealed shell that surrounds the tubes. The second version, the plate and fin, contains lots of thin metal plates or fins that make up a large surface area.
The fluids can also flow in many different directions. There is parallel flow which is where the fluids flow in the same direction, there is counterflow which is where the fluids flow in opposite directions, or finally there is cross flow, this is where the fluid flows at right angles.
Even though you will find heat exchangers in so many different products and they all work in many different ways, there is one thing you should take away from this article and that is the realisation that all heat exchangers do the same thing, essentially they all pass heat from one fluid to another.
Unfortunately heat exchangers aren’t exempt from problems. Like any other product out there, they can attract a range of issues which can result in either; a poorly performing heat exchanger or a heat exchanger that just doesn’t work at all.
If regularly working with heat exchangers it would be a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of the most common problems, so you know what to expect if it should ever occur.
In this post we’ve taken a look at one of the most common problems found in heat exchangers and where possible we have thrown in a few simple solutions to help you fix the problem.
Heat Exchanger Fouling
Fouling is the buildup of debris and dirt on the surface area of a heat exchanger and is the most common problem encountered with heat exchangers. Fouling prevents heat from transferring, increases the pressure drop and can obstruct fluid flow. As such, regular maintenance to remove any dirt or debris is highly recommended and will benefit your heat exchanger in the long run.
There are numerous fouling types and each will depend on the fluid used and conditions of the heat exchanger. We’ve listed the more common fouling types below and the common ways to treat them.
Natural waters contain certain salts and these salts have a lower solubility in warm water than cold. This means than during the cooling process dissolved salts will crystallize on the surface.
A common way to avoid this happening is to reduce the temperature of the heat transfer surface.
Another problem that can occur when using fresh water is sedimentation. Dirt, sand and rust can be commonly deposited in the tubes.
Increasing velocity will help to flush the particles off the surface.
Biological Organic Growth
Chemical reactions can cause biological organic growth material and when left to build up can cause a serious amount of damage.
When this type of fouling happens it would usually be removed by either a chemical treatment or mechanical brushing processes.
This will happen when hydrocarbon deposits in a high temperature. It can be avoided by simply reducing the temperature between the fluid and the heat transfer surface.
Again, like biological organic growth fouling, if this type of fouling occurs, it must be removed by chemical treatment or mechanical descaling processes.
Other things to watch out for are corrosion and freezing fouling. Many people will understand that corrosion can destroy surface areas, it works exactly the same way in a heat exchanger. Freezing fouling happens when the heat transfer surface has been overcooled. This causes the solidification of some of the fluid stream components. Avoid costly damage and reduce the temperature gradient between the fluid and the heat transfer surface.
Be warned, if you fail to treat fouling you could be increasing your chance of attracting other major heat exchanger problems.
MarketsandMarkets recently released a report about the future of the heat exchanger market. One of the predictions in the report suggests that the heat exchanger market will be worth over £13 million by 2019.
The report divides the market into easily identifiable sectors in order to examine the market better and make more accurate predictions. The report segments the market into the following categories; by type (plate and frame, shell and tube, printed circuit, air cooled), application (oil and gas, chemical, Petrochemical, Food and beverage, pulp and paper, HVACR, power generation), classification ( temperature range and fluid type, MoC), and geography.
The report analysed the trends recently witnessed in the market and makes a number of predictions on what will happen in the heat exchanger market by 2019. In this article we’ve picked out some of the key points mentioned in the report.
Asia Pacific has been declared the fastest growing heat exchanger market globally and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.7% for the next five consecutive years. Currently Asia Pacific is experiencing a high industrial growth rate which according to MarketsandMarkets will have a huge impact on the heat exchanger market. With high industrial growth there will be an increasing demand for heat exchangers in a diverse range of applications.
China in particular dominates the heat exchangers market as it is a major consumer and is the fastest growing country in terms of heat exchanger demand.
It has also been stated that an increasing number of heat exchanger manufacturers from Asia are increasing its efforts to develop a stronger share of the heat exchanger market. It has been suggested that the region has a target to reduce the number of heat exchanger imports.
Europe is also expected to experience growth in the heat exchanger market.
MarketsandMarkets predict a compound annual growth rate of 4.81% from 2014 to 2019. The European region has always had a strong heat exchanger market share and has been a global leader with it comes to demand and production capacity. This is enhanced by the fact that Europe has the presence of nearly every leading manufacturer of heat exchangers from across the globe in its continent.
The demand in Europe is predicted to increase due to the increased replacement demand for heat exchangers.
But, Europe will experience a much slower growth rate than Asia because the area already has a dominant market size and is currently experiencing slow economic activity when compared to other areas. At the moment, Europe holds more than 30% of the entire heat exchanger market globally.
The final factor that will impact and drive the heat exchanger market is the number of emerging Eastern European manufacturers. It is expected that manufacturers from this region will reduce import dependence of various countries.
The full report was produced by MarketsandMarkets to provide apt business insight into the heat exchanger market.
Jack Armowski has moved from Philadelphia to Washington. He studied computer science and engineering at the Washington state University. Tom decided to create this blog to post some realy good stuff for you. If you would like to contribute for the blog or you have any ideas please get in touch