Abstract

This paper explores the production of an oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) 304L stainless steel (SS) microchannel heat exchanger using a hybrid additive manufacturing process of laser powder bed fusion and inkjet printing. The study investigates the capabilities and economics of the hybrid inkjet-LPBF process and evaluates the dimensional accuracy, functionality, and mechanical properties of the resulting ODS alloy. The effectiveness and pressure drop of the ODS heat exchangers produced by the hybrid LPBF tool are also determined. Results show that the inkjet-doped samples have a lower mean channel height with higher standard deviation than samples produced by LPBF alone. This is attributed to greater absorption of laser energy for the powder coated with the oxide precursor. The economic analysis shows that the hybrid process has a potential for reducing the unit cost of the heat exchanger based on cost modeling assumptions.

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