Heat exchangers have a wide range of heating
and cooling applications, but increasing environmental concerns
mean there is a high demand for alternative freon-free systems.
The aim of this project was to improve
the manufacture of compact brazed plate heat exchangers using new
test methods and advanced material combinations. The resulting system
includes a new material containing molybdenum which can be used
as a powder in many potential applications or as an amorphous foil
for heat exchangers. Accurate size control of the cast foil was
achieved through the development of a new nozzle design. Ammonia
can be substituted for ozone-damaging freons in many cooling applications.
The improved heat exchanger has several advantages over existing
products and partners see a number of potential applications in
the automotive and aerospace industries and especially in corrosive
environments such as in boat engines or in the food sector.
Commercial sales of the new heat exchanger
started at the end of 1997 and have been largely in the food, pharmaceutical
and industrial laser-cooling sectors. The three industrial partners
are vertically integrated and so all benefit from such sales. EC
funding was critical to the project's success, say partners. Without
it the project would likely have started much later and would have
been far more limited in scope.