Case Study with GKN
Heat exchangers are a key component for the evolution of the aerospace industry, but new materials are needed to meet the requirements for their production and performance. Intellegens used its unique machine learning tool, Alchemite™, in collaboration with GKN Aerospace to seek a titanium alloy composition with the highest thermal conductivity without diminishing the current mechanical properties to demonstrate promise at the ATI Boeing Accelerator. The material design process that would normally take two years was reduced to less than three months.
“The Alchemite™ Engine is easy to work with and proved to be a powerful tool for virtual experimentation, unleashing unexplored territory in the search for better metal alloys tailored to the application needed for the ever demanding technological challenges of the future”
– Marko Bosman, Chief Technologist at GKN Aerospace
The next key milestone in the aviation industry is the adoption of sustainable fuels, such as batteries or hydrogen. Future aircraft design will require the cooling or heating of internal elements, so heat exchangers are becoming essential components. Effective heat exchangers have to be intricately shaped (for efficient performance), preferably produced by additive manufacturing (AM). Additionally, the heat exchanger should be a structural component of the aircraft, so the material must be strong. The combination of high thermal conductivity, high strength, and suitability for AM is not seen in current materials. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop new alloys that will allow future planes to be powered by next-generation fuels.