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Header for heat exchanger

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Header for heat exchanger


A header for a heat exchanger includes an elongate header plate having a pair of substantially parallel long edges. The header plate includes an elongate slot extending in a first direction across the header plate and a pair of ridges extending in a second direction along the header plate. The second direction is substantially perpendicular to the first direction. Edge regions of the header plate are formed on sides of the ridges adjacent the long edges. At least one of the edge regions lie in a first plane and crests of the ridges lie in a second plane. The first plane is substantially parallel to and offset from the second plane.

Browse recent Visteon Global Technologies, Inc. patents - Van Buren Twp., MI, US
Inventors: ALEX MCDONNELL, KEITH WILKINS, RICHARD ARMSDEN, STEPHEN JOYCE, JOEL JENNINGS, NIGEL SEEDS
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120298344 - Class: 165173 (USPTO) - 11/29/12 - Class 165 
Heat Exchange > Side-by-side Tubular Structures Or Tube Sections >With Manifold Type Header Or Header Plate

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120298344, Header for heat exchanger.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of United Kingdom Patent Application No. 1108977.8 filed May 27, 2011, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to heat exchangers, and more particularly to a header for a heat exchanger.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Typically, automotive vehicles are provided with a cooling system for an engine including a heat exchanger such as a radiator, for example. When the engine is running, heat is transferred from the engine to a coolant that flows through the engine. The coolant then flows from the engine to the heat exchanger through a series of conduits. At the heat exchanger, heat is transferred from the coolant to cooler air that flows over the outside of the heat exchanger. This process repeats itself in a continuous cycle thereby cooling the engine.

A typical heat exchanger includes a series of tubes supported by two chambers or headers positioned at either end of the heat exchanger. One type of conventional header is a flat header. These are so named because, when these flat headers are joined to a respective tube, for example, by brazing, the joint between the header and the tube lies in a substantially flat plane.

During operation of the engine and cooling system, the tubes are subject to thermal cycling (rise and fall of the temperature of the heat exchanger components). The thermal cycling leads to stresses as adjacent tubes may expand to different degrees, imposing axial loads on adjacent tubes. These types of header/tube combinations are, therefore, prone to failure because of the stress concentrations that occur along the header/tube joint. In particular, these designs of header are prone to failure around a nose of the tubes.

A different header, designed to overcome these problems is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,426,958. However, when used in heat exchangers including folded tubes, or ‘B-tubes’, having a longitudinal seam separating two channels, the failure point is known to have moved from the nose of the tube to the intersection of the seam of the tube with the header.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved heat exchanger header that overcomes the above problems.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

In concordance and agreement with the present invention, a header for a heat exchanger of the present invention, has been surprisingly invented.

In one embodiment, a header for a heat exchanger comprises: a header plate having a first surface, an opposing second surface, and substantially parallel edges, the header plate including: at least one slot formed in the header plate and extending in a first direction across the header plate; a plurality of ridges extending in a second direction along the header plate, the second direction being substantially perpendicular to the first direction; and a plurality of edge regions adjacent the edges, wherein the at least one slot extends across the ridges, and wherein at least one of the edge regions of the header plate lie in a first plane and at least one crest of at least one of the ridges lies in a second plane, and wherein the first plane is substantially parallel to and offset from the second plane, the second plane disposed further from the second surface of the header plate than the first plane.

In another embodiment, a heat exchanger comprises: at least one tube including a seam extending along a central region of the at least one tube; and a header including a header plate having a first surface, an opposing second surface, and substantially parallel edges, the header plate including: at least one slot having a first end and a second end, the slot extending in a first direction across the header plate; a plurality of ridges extending in a second direction along the header plate, the second direction being substantially perpendicular to the first direction; and a plurality of edge regions formed on sides of the ridges adjacent the edges of the header plate, wherein at least one of the ends of the at least one slot is located within the edge regions, and wherein the at least one slot extends across the ridges, and wherein the edge regions of the header plate lie in a first plane and at least one of a plurality of crests of the ridges lie in a second plane, and wherein the first plane is substantially parallel to and offset from the second plane, the second plane located further from the second surface of the header plate than the first plane, and wherein an end of the at least one tube is received within the at least one slot and the seam of the at least one tube is substantially aligned with a central region of the header plate, and wherein at least one of the crests of at least one of the ridges intersects the at least one tube further from the end of the at least one tube than the edge regions of the header plate.

In yet another embodiment, a heat exchanger comprises: at least one tube; and a header including a header plate having a first surface, an opposing second surface, and substantially parallel edges, the header plate including: at least one slot extending in a first direction across the header plate; a plurality of ridges extending in a second direction along the header plate, the second direction being substantially perpendicular to the first direction; a plurality of edge regions formed on sides of the ridges adjacent the edges of the header plate, wherein the edge regions of the header plate lie in a first plane and at least one of a plurality of crests of the ridges lie in a second plane, and wherein the first plane is substantially parallel to and offset from the second plane, the second plane located further from the second surface of the header plate than the first plane; and at least one trough formed between the ridges.

Preferably, the header plate includes a trough between the two ridges and the seam of the tube coincides with a base of the trough.

Typically, the header comprises more than one slot and the slots are arranged parallel to each other. Preferably, the first direction is perpendicular to the long edges of the header plate, such that when a tube is inserted in the one or more slots the width of the tube extends across the width of the header.

Preferably, the header has mirror symmetry along a longitudinal centre line of the header so that the two edge regions are of equal width. In this way, a first distance between the crest of a first ridge and a first long edge of the header plate, and a second distance between the crest of a second ridge and a second long edge of the header plate are equal.

In preferred embodiments, the thickness of the header plate is constant over the whole area of the header plate such that the stiffness of the header plate does not vary significantly over its area.

In some designs of heat exchanger it may be desirable if the depth of a trough formed between the two ridges in the header plate is equal to the height of the ridges. As such a base of the trough and the two edge regions of the header all lie in the first plane.

In other designs of heat exchanger it may be desirable if the depth of a trough formed between the two ridges in the header plate is less than the height of the ridges. As such, a base of the trough lies in a third plane, parallel to the first and second planes and located between the first and second planes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above, as well as other advantages of the present invention, will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic front elevational view of a heat exchanger, as is known in the prior art, including a header and a plurality of tubes;

FIG. 2a is a perspective view of a portion of the heat exchanger illustrated in FIG. 1 showing a connection between one of the tubes and the header, the header being of a geometry known in the prior art;



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120298344 A1
Publish Date
11/29/2012
Document #
13480595
File Date
05/25/2012
USPTO Class
165173
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
28F9/02
Drawings
5



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