AFRL testing capability for additive manufactured HX

19 November 2019

A state-of-the-art Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) testing capability for new additive manufactured heat exchangers (HX) is now up and running and is already providing AFRL’s Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-cost Sustainment, or MAMLS, program with valuable data on the advantages and limitations of producing fuel-oil coolers, a type of heat exchanger, via additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing.

MAMLS is focused on helping the Air Force apply additive manufacturing and other emerging advanced technologies for continued, low-cost effective maintenance and sustainment of legacy aircraft.

Not only is this capability advantageous for helping to ensure legacy aircraft keep flying, but it also demonstrates AFRL’s commitment to keeping the Air Force ahead of the game while practicing cost efficiency. To address the testing needs of the MAMLS project, the materials and manufacturing team worked together with experts from the Aerospace Systems Fuels Branch to complete the HX tester, providing benefits for both groups. Following the completion of the MAMLS project, the test rig will be available for the government and industry to accomplish future testing of AM HX designs.