Conflux Technology to develop new fuel oil heat exchanger with General Atomics


Additive manufacturing business Conflux Technology and US defence contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) have extended their long-running partnership through a new contract on the design and manufacture of a fuel oil heat exchanger (FOHE) for the MQ-9B drone.

The two companies have worked on four additive manufacturing projects since 2018. The latest aims to “maximize the overall heat extraction capacity, while looking for opportunities to lower the mass and volume of the FOHE,” according to Stephen Eiting, vice president of Manufacturing Operations at the US company, in a statement on Monday.

Geelong-headquartered Conflux specialises in heat exchangers with superior performance enabled by the design complexity made possible by AM.

According to a statement from the two companies, the purchase order will see Conflux produce a fully-functional prototype for testing. GA-ASI said an objective was “to develop an AM heat exchanger design that can be 3D printed, post-processed, and bench-tested.”

“Our mission is transforming heat exchanger performance,” added Conflux’s Abe Masoud, Business Development Manager – North America. 

“For our project with GA-ASI this means drop-in replacements that remove thermal load and maintaining a compact profile, while also increasing performance to meet higher system demand.”

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