Transient Analysis of a Ceramic High Temperature Heat Exchanger and Chemical Decomposer

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


American Society of Mechanical Engineers



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Ceramics are suitable for use in high temperature applications as well as corrosive environment. These characteristics were the reason behind selection silicon carbide for a high temperature heat exchanger and chemical decomposer, which is a part of the Sulphur-Iodine (SI) thermo-chemical cycle. The heat exchanger is expected to operate in the range of 950°C. The proposed design is manufactured using fused ceramic layers that allow creation of micro-channels with dimensions below one millimeter. A proper design of the heat exchanges requires considering possibilities of failure due to stresses under both steady state and transient conditions. Temperature gradients within the heat exchanger ceramic components induce thermal stresses that dominate other stresses. A three-dimensional computational model is developed to investigate the fluid flow, heat transfer and stresses in the decomposer. Temperature distribution in the solid is imported to finite element software and used with pressure loads for stress analysis. The stress results are used to calculate probability of failure based on Weibull failure criteria. Earlier analysis showed that stress results at steady state operating conditions are satisfactory. The focus of this paper is to consider stresses that are induced during transient scenarios. In particular, the cases of startup and shutdown of the heat exchanger are considered. The paper presents an evaluation of the stresses in these two cases.


Ceramics – Effect of temperature on; Decomposition (Chemistry); Heat exchangers; High temperatures; Silicon carbide; Transient analysis


Ceramic Materials | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Materials Science and Engineering | Mechanical Engineering




Conference held: Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007


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