Flow-Field Measurements in a Metal Additively Manufactured Offset Strip Fin Array Using Laser Doppler Velocimetry

David Saltzman, Stephen Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Metal additive manufacturing (AM) of heat exchanger enables custom and conformal designs for a wide range of applications. However, one challenge with metal AM is the resultant surface roughness formed when using this process, which is nonexistent during traditional manufacturing processes. The goal in this study is to explore how this roughness impacts the pressure drop and flow field of a commonly used heat exchanger surface called an offset strip fin (OSF). Two OSFs of the same geometry are tested: one with an average fin roughness of 34 μm from metal AM and the other with an average fin roughness 2.5 μm, used as a baseline. The roughness from the metal AM process increased pressure losses and transitioned the flow to turbulent-like behavior at lower Reynolds numbers when compared with the smooth fin. Laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) measurements captured the row number in the fin array where transition from laminar to turbulent-like flow occurred. The location of transition from low to high turbulence levels occurred earlier in the fin array as the Reynolds number was increased for the smooth and rough fins. Wake profiles of time-averaged axial velocity were similar between the rough and smooth fins, with the rough fins having higher levels of turbulence intensity (TI) and less symmetric wake profiles. Overall, this study indicates that a pressure loss penalty is associated with using metal AM OSF due to the resultant surface roughness and an earlier transition to turbulent-like flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041502
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Flow-Field Measurements in a Metal Additively Manufactured Offset Strip Fin Array Using Laser Doppler Velocimetry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this