Impact of additive manufacturing on internal cooling channels with varying diameters and build directions

Alexander J. Wildgoose, Karen A. Thole, Paul Sanders, Lieke Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The use of additive manufacturing (AM) processes, such as direct metal laser sintering, provides the design freedom required to incorporate complex cooling schemes in gas turbine components. Additively manufactured turbine components have a range of cooling feature sizes and, because of the inherent three-dimensionality, a wide range of build angles. Previous studies have shown that AM built directions influence internal channel surface roughness that, in turn, augment heat transfer and pressure loss. This study investigates the impact of AM on channel feature size and builds direction relative to tolerance, surface roughness, pressure losses, and convective cooling. Multiple AM coupons were built from Inconel 718 consisting of channels with different diameters and a variety of build directions. An experimental rig was used to measure pressure drop to calculate friction factor and was used to impose a constant surface temperature boundary condition to collect Nusselt number over a range of Reynolds numbers. Significant variations in surface roughness and geometric deviations from the design intent were observed for distinct build directions and channel sizes. These differences led to notable impacts in friction factor and Nusselt number augmentations, which were a strong function of build angle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071003
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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