ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute (ARTI) is seeking bids for a new research project to identify and evaluate novel materials to improve the energy efficiency of heat exchangers.

According to ARTI, while the HVACR industry has historically utilized fairly traditional designs employing primarily fin-and-tube or plate heat exchangers, recent advances in material science have yielded potential new concepts in heat exchanger design with novel materials of construction that can increase heat transfer and/or reduce size and potentially cost. These materials include metal or carbon foams, lattice structures, as well as new components utilizing polymeric materials. Though some of these materials have been used for heat exchangers in other industries, there has been little investigation of their use in conventional HVACR systems.

The goal of the ARTI-sponsored research project is to identify which of these novel materials may be applicable for heat exchangers used in HVACR systems; compile pertinent property data on those materials compared with conventional copper and aluminum materials; determine which parts of a heat exchanger would benefit from the use of novel materials; assess manufacturing issues for the new materials; perform a comparative cost and performance study of the most promising materials to those of conventional heat exchangers; and recommend further research projects including potential experimental programs.

Prospective bidders can download bidding instructions, the statement of work and other pertinent information from the ARTI Website at The deadline for submitting proposals is July 28, 2006.

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1989 by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) to undertake pre-competitive scientific research related to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration.

Publication date: 06/19/2006