OSU researchers invent better microchannel heat exchangers

OSU researchers invent better microchannel heat exchangers

0611_NextOregon State University engineers have invented a new way to produce microchannel heat exchangers that could cut material costs in half by using surface-mount adhesives instead of heat-intensive methods. Microchannels (also called arrays), the diameter of a human hair, can be patterned into the surface of a metal or plastic, and speed up the heat exchange between fluids, or the mixing and separation of fluids during chemical reactions. This new adhesive process could accelerate the commercialization of microchannel process technology in everything from computers to fuel processors to home heaters. OSU professor Brian Paul and doctoral candidate Prawin Paulraj have discovered that by using surface-mount adhesives, existing equipment within the electronics assembly industry can be used to make arrays, which reduces cost and time-to-market. “Microchannels can be used throughout industry,” says Paul. The pair published their research in the Journal of Manufacturing Processes, and is currently looking for a private partner to bring the microchannel applications to market. “We are looking at commercialization in two years or less,” says Paulraj.

ILIE MITARU