Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level



Mechanical Engineering


Hu, Han

Committee Member/Reader

Shou, Wan


The development of high-performance air-cooled heat exchangers is required to permit the rapid growth of vehicle and aircraft electrification. In electric vehicles and airliners, the motors and power electronics are integrated into a compact space, leading to unprecedently high power density. To achieve higher overall thermal efficiency, the heat exchangers must be extremely light while maintaining their heat transfer performance and mechanical robustness. Recently advances in 3D metal printing, e.g., direct metal laser sintering, and selective laser melting, have enabled the manufacturing of high-performance robust heat exchangers by eliminating thermal boundary resistance and ensuring a uniform thermal expansion coefficient. Nonetheless, many of the existing 3D-printed heat exchangers are still based on traditional designs (e.g. fins, channels, meshes, etc.), which cannot fully exploit the higher degrees of freedom for manufacturing enabled by 3D printing. To help address this issue, the program nTopology has been used in an attempt to design and simulate heat sinks that have a lightweight and robust design while still delivering high performance during steady-state convection cooling operations. This resulted in a heat exchanger that performs nearly identically to the control heat exchanger while having less surface area.


Heat exchanger, Generative Design, Machine Learning, nTopology