New Technology Developed to Improve Thermal Management

26 Feb 2019

CPI has applied for a patent for a heat transfer technique that aims to significantly improve component performance in an array of applications, benefiting the automotive, aerospace and advanced computing sectors.

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The Hi-Therm™ system has been developed to provide a more efficient method of increasing the energy transference in radiators.

Providing a smaller and lighter alternative to existing radiators, Hi-Therm™ holds great potential to advance the performance of vehicle cooling systems, cutting fluids, high-intensity PC servers and even domestic heating systems.

Over recent years, there has been tremendous growth, both technologically and in terms of demand, in electronic devices and systems. 

The technological progress has come on two main fronts: increased functionality on a single device unit and miniaturization of each unit. Both of these developments have increased the need for thermal management technologies.

A recent BCC Research report highlights that the world market for thermal management products will grow from about $11.7 billion in 2017 to over $12.4 billion in 2018 and to $16.3 billion by 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% from 2018 through 2023.

By adding a form of Boron Nitride, a 2D material similar to graphene, CPI has achieved the effect of making fluids more highly thermally conductive while doubling the amount of energy removed.

A Central Processing Unit (CPU), for example, could be run at half its normal operating temperature, ultimately extending the life-time of the component while saving energy.

CPI also found Hi-Therm™ is capable of removing traditional performance-impairing issues caused by nanomaterials, which can clump together in radiators and only be cleared with the addition of surfactants.

Hi-Therm's potential covers a number of areas, including the automotive sector

With traditional dispersion making fluids less conductive, Hi-Therm™ removes the need for additives, negating any adverse impact and ensuring greater heat transfer. 

Hi-Therm™ technology was developed from a collaborative R&D project funded by Innovate UK, entitled HiPAdd, which explored the formulation of high-performance additives for metalworking fluids with higher heat removal properties. 

This project involved a number of the UK Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult partners, including the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, together with UK company Afton Chemicals.

CPI developed a modified form of Boron Nitride that remains in suspension. It utilised equipment supplied by UK Company Haydale Limited in order to develop different surface chemistries to find the optimum formulation for the additives.

The next steps in development will be to transfer the technology to UK companies that can take products into the market. Applications in automotive, aerospace and advanced computing are the logical next steps.

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