New technology developed to improve heat transfer

CPI has patented a heat transfer technique aimed at significantly improving component performance in an array of applications, benefiting the automotive, aerospace and advanced computing sectors.

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.

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.

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.