Benefits provided by AM are perfectly suited to aerospace so it’s no surprise that the aerospace industry has been an early adopter – the drive to higher efficiencies and lower weight depend heavily on solving difficult thermal engineering challenges in tight spaces.

HiETA is working with a large number of aerospace Primes and Tier 1s to utilise the technology and capabilities developed in other sectors (eg Motorsport) to solve current and future aerospace thermal issues. We expect to have three products flying on development platforms in 2020, with others being developed for future years. Our close relationship with Tier 1 company Meggitt means we have a strong route to market, a deep understanding of the MRO and sales support side of the business and a great understanding of the issues faced by conventionally manufactured products and systems.

Our proven expertise in both low (<250°C) and high (<800°C) temperature heat exchangers means that we have the capability in a number of key product areas, including oil cooling, environmental conditioning systems, electronic cooling, and hydraulic systems. We are constantly developing new materials and parameters to give longer life, higher strength options, and our ongoing innovation stream is generating step-change size reductions in our thermal systems year on year.

We believe that the reliability and longevity work we have done benchmarking and proving our products in other markets (such as Motorsport) stand us in great stead for aerospace application. Our typical aluminium motorsport heat exchangers go through rigorous pre-season, race and post-race testing and validation, proving out performance over time, resistance to thermal and pressure cyclic loading, ability to withstand shock loading and handling/overhaul. We have products with over 100,000 cycles and years of running experience, and firmly believe this is applicable to aerospace products too, putting us years ahead of our competitors in terms of validation of AM heat exchangers for aero applications.

Key points:

  • Weight & package reduction of up to 5x vs conventional products
  • Ability to process high strength materials (Inconel 625, A20X)
  • Proven cyclic life and reliability (>100,000 cycles on highest life parts)
  • 3 products flying on development platforms in 2020