A Novel 3D Printed Air-Cooled Fuel Cooler Heat Exchanger for Aviation Industry

Aliihsan Koca*, Cemal İrfan Çalışkan, Ebubekir Koç, Ömer Akbal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Unmanned aerial vehicles are expected to complete their missions even in adverse weather conditions. Overheating in the engine area may occur, particularly at high speeds due to using the full engine throttle. Another design factor that affects endurance duration and maximum take-off weight is the weight of the unmanned aerial vehicle heat exchanger. In this paper, a new type of air-cooled fuel cooler heat exchanger is proposed to reduce the total weight of the heat exchanger by increasing cooling performance through the design flexibility offered by additive manufacturing. The printed circuit heat exchanger has a circular cross-section to prevent dead bends in the heat transfer surfaces and feed coolant air directly onto the fins and circulation pipes. Twisted fins and piping structure were adjusted so they could be produced without any support, generate turbulence, and reduce total weight. The fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics of novel and conventional heat exchangers were simulated in 3D. The flow physics of both exchangers were studied to determine how the new design enhances heat transfer. Numerical results showed that the new heat exchanger has 55.6% more cooling capacity than the conventional one. The heat exchanger weight was decreased from 774 to 263 g.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1350-1371
Number of pages22
JournalHeat Transfer Engineering
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


This study was prepared within the scope of “ALUTEAM-Aluminum Test Training and Research Center,” carried out by Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University. We would like to thank Turkish Aerospace Industries Ltd. for their great support of problem identification in the field of aviation. Last but not least, we would like to thank the technical team at additive manufacturing labs in ALUTEAM (Aluminium Test Training and Research Centre) for their immense effort in designing and manufacturing necessary parts.

FundersFunder number
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University
Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii


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