Analysis of the Corrosion Test Process for Heat Exchangers in Corrosion Test Chambers by CFD Simulation

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Heat exchangers for the climatization and the thermal management of passenger cars and trucks undergo corrosion tests within their development process. Corrosion tests, like the well known Sea Water Acetic Acid Test (SWAAT-Test), are performed by spraying salt water on the heat exchangers within a corrosion test chamber.

This test process inside a corrosion test chamber is simulated at MAHLE Behr using STAR-CCM+. The geometry of the corrosion chamber has been built up virtually in STAR-CCM+ including a variable load scenario (of heat exchangers) of the test chamber. The transport of the spray of the salt water as well as the air flow inside the corrosion chamber is simulated. The simulation gives insight into the transport and deposition processes of the salt spray. Particular attention has been paid to the boundary conditions and their influence on the simulation results.

The analysis of the simulation results allows the investigation of the sensitivity of the testing results to the boundary conditions of experimental corrosion tests, like the arrangement of the spray injector. Based on these simulations, the long term perspective would be the corrosion test chamber simulation including the chemical modeling of the corrosion processes on the surface of the heat exchangers.

Author Company: 
Mahle Behr GmbH & Co. KG
Author Name: 
Rainer Stauch, F. Brändle, M. Pfitzer, Wolfram Kühnel