Compohex – manufacturing

Composite Heat Exchangers (Compohex) – partim manufacturing

What is it about?

Compohex is an VLAIO-funded research project. The goal of this project is to deliver polymer-based composite heat exchangers for different applications; more specifically low temperature low pressure, high temperature low pressure, low temperature high pressure and exploring the boundary limit of temperature and pressure in composite heat exchangers. Compohex is a joint project with other UGent Partner organizations (ATHT, MMS, SET, UGent Composites and Power-link) and various industrial partners. Tom started working on this project since March 2016.

Objective of the research

The CPMT group is assigned with various tasks in the Compohex project. In order to increase the efficiency of these heat exchangers, the intrinsic low thermal conductivity of the plastic matrices has to be increased by blending in filler materials. Parameters such as load, orientation, size and shape of these fillers and their influence on the thermal conductivity of the resulting composite are investigated. Other tasks include polymer flow simulation (see Dahang Tang), feedback on manufacturability of heat exchanger subcomponents, designing assembly methods of subcomponents and actual manufacturing of composite heat exchanger subcomponents. At this moment, CPMT is focusing on thermoplastic matrix materials. Various filler materials can be blended in by extrusion. Further processing methods such as plate-extrusion, injection molding and thermoforming can be employed to make test specimen or subcomponents. Analysis techniques such as DSC, TGA, HDT and MFI are used to determine various properties of the composite. The thermal conductivity can be measured in different directions by using the Transient Plane Source Method.

Key publications


Type of funding and duration

VLAIO-SBO, 2016-2020


Coordinator: Prof. Ludwig Cardon
Tom Wieme