Analysis of a Metal Foam Heat Exchanger

V. Villani [1], G. Bella [2],
[1] University "Niccolò Cusano", Engineering Department, Rome, Italy
[2] University "Niccolò Cusano", Engineering Department, Rome, Italy; University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy

We present a numerical investigation on a metal foam radiator in natural convection. Metal foams are innovative lightweight materials with unique heat dissipation properties. COMSOL Multiphysics® has been used to reproduce experimental data and generate an optimized geometry to maximize the heat flux. Local Thermal Equilibrium approach has been used. The model was generated taking advantage of Brinkman Equations interface for porous media.

Both radiation and convective heat transfer phenomena have been taken into account, adopting a multiphysics approach. Multiple experimental setups have been reproduced. The foam conductivity has been computed according to a formula wildly adopted in literature.

Future developments of this study may include Local Thermal Non Equilibrium, forced convection applications and more advanced geometries.