Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Shaowen Xu

Committee Member 1

Marcel Ilie

Committee Member 2

David Calamas


A heat exchanger is a device used to transfer thermal energy between two intertwining fluid pathways. In this study, the design of a novel heat exchanger is proposed using functional gradient double gyroid structure. The complex internal geometries of the gyroid structure significantly increases the surface area to volume ratio, and potentially could expressively improve efficiency of the heat transfer. The proposed idea provides a new approach for the design of a high-efficiency heat exchanger. In order to fabricate the complex structured heat exchanger system additive manufacturing is adapted instead of traditionally subtractive manufacturing techniques or casting. The prototypes of fully enclosed functional gradient gyroid heat exchanger system were successfully printed through Stereolithography (SLA) methods. The 3D printed prototypes approved that the proposed designs worked functionally. The Metal Fused Deposition Modeling was utilized with copper filament to create a high-performance heat exchanger. Models with variable structural gradient and thickness were fabricated, and the effects of structure, printing parameters, and post processing parameters on final part quality were studied. Results shown that shrinkage can occur up to 11.72% in cross layer directions, fractures tend to propagate from saddle points in printed gyroid structures, and porosity was shown to decrease from 40% to 18% with a wall thickness decrease of 1.71mm . It was concluded from this study that using Metal Fused Deposition Modeling additive manufacturing to produce high-performance heat exchangers using minimal surface structures is not feasible with current post processing techniques . Other post processing techniques such as liquid phase sintering could possibly be utilized to reduce shrinkage and lower the porosity. Other methods such as binder jetting could be used to fabricate the heat exchanger with potentially less porosity and more uniform shrinkage.

Research Data and Supplementary Material