The utilization of selective laser melting technology on heat transfer devices for thermal energy conversion applications: A review

Davoud Jafari* (Corresponding Author), Wessel W. Wits

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    171 Citations (Scopus)
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    This paper reviews advanced heat transfer devices utilizing advanced manufacturing technologies, including well-established thermal management applications. Several factors have recently contributed to developing novel heat transfer devices. One of the potential technologies revolutionizing the field of energy conversion is additive manufacturing (AM), colloquially known as three-dimensional (3D) printing. This technology permits engineers to develop a product with a high level of freeform features both internally and externally within a complex 3D geometry. Among different AM approaches, selective laser melting (SLM) is a well-used technique for developing products with a lower cost-to-complexity ratio and quicker time production compared to other manufacturing processes. The integration of SLM technology into heat exchangers (HXs) and heat sinks (HSs) has a strong potential, especially to fabricate customized and complex freeform shapes. The aim of this research is to review the advancement in design complexities of different industrial heat transfer devices incorporating metal SLM fabrication. The review is not meant to put a ceiling on the AM process, but to enable engineers to have an overview of the capabilities of SLM technology in the field of thermal management applications. This review presents the opportunities and challenges related to the application of SLM technology in connection to novel HXs and HSs, as well as heat pipes (HPs). The latter are passive heat transfer devices utilized in many thermal control applications, especially related to electronics cooling and energy applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)420-442
    Number of pages23
    JournalRenewable & sustainable energy reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


    • Additive manufacturing
    • Heat exchanger
    • Heat pipe
    • Heat sink
    • Selective laser melting
    • Thermal management

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