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Heat exchanger including an in-tank oil cooler with improved heat rejection

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Heat exchanger including an in-tank oil cooler with improved heat rejection


A heat exchanger includes first and second radiator tanks, a radiator core and an oil cooler. The core includes first and second headers associated with the first and second radiator tanks, respectively, and a plurality of radiator tubes extending between therebetween. Each tube provides fluid communication from the first radiator tank to the second radiator tank. The plurality of radiator tubes are generally perpendicular to the headers. Coolant passing through the radiator tubes enters the second radiator tank in a direction perpendicular to the header. The oil cooler includes first and second end tanks and a core having a plurality of convoluted oil cooler plates. The tubes provide fluid communication between the first and second oil cooler tanks. Adjacent plates define coolant paths extending through the core and disposed at an angle relative to the direction the coolant enters the second radiator tank.
Related Terms: Rejection Tubes Headers Heat Exchanger

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140060784 - Class: 165148 (USPTO) -
Heat Exchange > Radiator Core Type

Inventors: Adam Ostapowicz, George Moser, Lawrence C. Kennedy

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140060784, Heat exchanger including an in-tank oil cooler with improved heat rejection.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/694,509 filed 29 Aug. 2012, which application is herein expressly incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present teachings generally relate to heat exchangers. The present teachings more particularly relate to a heat exchanger including an in-tank oil cooler with improved heat rejection capability.

BACKGROUND

This section provides background information related to the present disclosure which is not necessarily prior art.

Various heat exchangers are used to transfer thermal energy from one medium to another for the purpose of cooling or heating. In this regard, it is necessary to cool various components of a motor vehicle to avoid overheating. As one example, a heat exchanger in the form of a cooling radiator is used to cool an internal combustion engine.

Radiators are conventionally used in motor vehicles for the cooling of internal combustion engines. An exemplary cooling radiator for a motor vehicle is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 and generally identified at reference character 1. The radiator 1 is generally illustrated to generally include a core. The core includes a pair of headers 2 and a plurality of tubes 3 extending between the headers 2. The tubes 3 are inserted into the headers 2 and brazed to the headers 2 to prevent leakage. Coolant circulates through the plurality of tubes 3. Plastic tanks 4 are mounted to the headers 2. As illustrated, an edge 5 of the headers 2 may be rolled over a flange 6 of the tanks 4 for securing the tanks 4 to the headers 2. A gasket 8 may be placed between the headers 2 and the associated tank 4 to prevent leakage.

Coolant may be circulated through the plurality of tubes 3. As the tubes 3 are exposed to the atmosphere, heat may be released from the coolant in this manner. Cooling fins (not shown) may be located between the radiator tubes 3. The fins may increase the total heat exchange area between the radiator 1 and the atmosphere.

As further illustrated, a transmission oil cooler 9 may be conventionally placed inside one of the radiator tanks 4. The transmission oil cooler 9 may include a plurality of plates or tubes 10 for circulating hot transmission fluid between an oil inlet tank 11 having an oil inlet 11 A and an oil outlet tank 12 having an oil outlet 12A. The transmission oil cooler 9 is immersed in the coolant that fills the radiator tank 4. The oil is cooled because even though the coolant is also hot, its temperature is significantly lower than the oil temperature. The temperature differential is used to transfer heat from the oil to the coolant, and ultimately to the atmosphere.

FIG. 3 illustrates the flow of coolant from one of the radiator tubes 3 and across convolutes of the oil cooler plates of the core of the oil cooler 9. As shown, the flow of coolant across the plates of the core of the oil cooler 9 produces a generally laminar flow.

While known heat exchangers have proven to be generally acceptable for their intended purpose, a continuous need for improvement remains in the relevant art.

SUMMARY

This section provides a general summary of the disclosure, and is not a comprehensive disclosure of its full scope or all of its features.

In accordance with one particular aspect, the present teachings provide a heat exchanger for an internal combustion engine of a motor vehicle includes first and second radiator tanks, a radiator core and an oil cooler disposed in the second radiator tank. The radiator core includes first and second headers associated with the first and second radiator tanks, respectively. The radiator core further includes a plurality of radiator tubes extending between the first and second headers. Each tube is secured to the headers of both the first and second radiator tanks and provides fluid communication from the first radiator tank to the second radiator tank. The plurality of radiator tubes are oriented generally perpendicular to the headers such that a coolant passing through the radiator tubes enters the second radiator tank in a direction generally perpendicular to the header. The oil cooler includes first and second end tanks and a core defined by a plurality of convoluted oil cooler plates. The oil cooler plates extend between the first and second oil cooler tanks and providing fluid communication between the first and second oil cooler tanks. The convoluted oil cooler plates define coolant paths extending through the core. The coolant paths are disposed at an angle relative to the direction the coolant enters the second radiator tank such that coolant is impinged upon walls of the convoluted oil cooler plates.

In accordance with another particular aspect, the present teachings provide an oil cooler including a core and first and second end tanks. The oil cooler core includes a plurality of oil cooler plates. Adjacent oil cooler plates each cooperate to define a fluid path extending in a first direction. The first end tank is located at a first end of the oil cooler core. The second end tank is located at a second end of the oil cooler core, the second end being opposite the first end in a second direction. The oil cooler core receives coolant from a third direction. The third direction is angled relative to the second direction.

Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. The description and specific examples in this summary are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustrative purposes only of selected embodiments and not all possible implementations, and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a cooling radiator in accordance with the prior art.

FIG. 2 is another sectional view of the prior art cooling radiator of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a prior art view illustrating conventional flow of coolant over oil cooler convolutes.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a heat exchanger in accordance with the present teachings.

FIG. 5 is a simplified cross-sectional view of the heat exchanger of FIG. 6.

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 3, illustrating flow of coolant over the oil cooler convolutes in the heat exchanger of the present teachings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF VARIOUS ASPECTS

Example embodiments will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Example embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough, and will fully convey the scope to those who are skilled in the art. Numerous specific details are set forth such as examples of specific components, devices, and methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that specific details need not be employed, that example embodiments may be embodied in many different forms and that neither should be construed to limit the scope of the disclosure. In some example embodiments, well-known processes, well-known device structures, and well-known technologies are not described in detail.

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular example embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” may be intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The terms “comprises,” “comprising,” “including,” and “having,” are inclusive and therefore specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. The method steps, processes, and operations described herein are not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance in the particular order discussed or illustrated, unless specifically identified as an order of performance. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.

When an element or layer is referred to as being “on,” “engaged to,” “connected to,” or “coupled to” another element or layer, it may be directly on, engaged, connected or coupled to the other element or layer, or intervening elements or layers may be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being “directly on,” “directly engaged to,” “directly connected to,” or “directly coupled to” another element or layer, there may be no intervening elements or layers present. Other words used to describe the relationship between elements should be interpreted in a like fashion (e.g., “between” versus “directly between,” “adjacent” versus “directly adjacent,” etc.). As used herein, the term “and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items.

Although the terms first, second, third, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections, these elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections should not be limited by these terms. These terms may be only used to distinguish one element, component, region, layer or section from another region, layer or section. Terms such as “first,” “second,” and other numerical terms when used herein do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context. Thus, a first element, component, region, layer or section discussed below could be termed a second element, component, region, layer or section without departing from the teachings of the example embodiments.

Spatially relative terms, such as “inner,” “outer,” “beneath,” “below,” “lower,” “above,” “upper,” and the like, may be used herein for ease of description to describe one element or feature\'s relationship to another element(s) or feature(s) as illustrated in the figures. Spatially relative terms may be intended to encompass different orientations of the device in use or operation in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures. For example, if the device in the figures is turned over, elements described as “below” or “beneath” other elements or features would then be oriented “above” the other elements or features. Thus, the example term “below” can encompass both an orientation of above and below. The device may be otherwise oriented (rotated 90 degrees or at other orientations) and the spatially relative descriptors used herein interpreted accordingly.

Turning to FIGS. 4 through 6, a heat exchanger constructed in accordance with the present teachings is illustrated and generally identified at reference character 100. The heat exchanger 100 is particularly intended for an internal combustion engine of a motor vehicle. It will be appreciated, however, that the present teachings may be readily adapted to other applications.

The heat exchanger 100 is illustrated to generally include a radiator core 101 and first and second radiator tanks 102 and 104. The radiator tanks 102 and 104 may be constructed of plastic or other suitable material. The radiator core 101 includes having first and second headers (the second of which is shown at reference character 106) associated with the first and second radiator tanks 102 and 104, respectively. The radiator tanks 102 and 104 may be secured to the respective header 106 in any manner well known in the art.

The radiator core 101 further includes a plurality of radiator tubes 108. In the simplified cross-sectional view of FIG. 5, it will be understood that only two of the radiator tubes 108 are illustrated. Furthermore, it will be understood that the remaining radiator tubes 108 (as shown in FIG. 6) are substantially identical in cross section. To the extent not otherwise illustrated or described herein, it will be understood that the radiator tubes 108 are conventional in construction and operation insofar as the present teachings are concerned.

Each radiator tube 108 is secured to the headers 106 of both the first and second radiator tanks 102 and 104 and provides fluid communication from the first radiator tank to the second radiator tank 102 and 104. In the embodiment illustrated, the radiator tubes 108 extend through the headers 106 and are secured to the headers 106 at brazing joints 110. The plurality of radiator tubes 108 are oriented generally perpendicular to the headers 106 such that a coolant passing through the radiator tubes enters the second radiator tank 104 in a direction D generally perpendicular to the header 106.

The heat exchanger 100 of the present teachings further generally includes an oil cooler 112 disposed in the second radiator tank 104. The oil cooler 112 is immersed in coolant disposed in the second radiator tank 104. The oil cooler 112 includes first and second end tanks 114 and 116 and an oil cooler core 118. The first end tank 114 defines an oil outlet 120. The second end tank 116 defines an oil inlet 122.

The oil cooler core 112 is defined by a plurality of convoluted oil cooler plates 124. The oil cooler plates 124 extend between the first and second oil cooler tanks 114 and 116 and provide fluid communication between the first and second oil cooler tanks 114 and 116. In the simplified cross-sectional view of FIG. 5, it will be understood that only a few of the oiler cooler plates 124 are illustrated. The remaining plates 124 will be understood to be generally identical.

Despite being convoluted, the orientation of the plates 124 will be described as if the plates were generally planar. In alternative applications, generally planar plates (e.g., not convoluted) may be used within the scope of the present teachings. The convoluted oil cooler plates 124 extend in a horizontal direction (as shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 5) and are stacked relative to one another. Adjacent oil cooler plates 124 cooperate to define coolant paths 126 extending through the core 118.

In the embodiment illustrated, the coolant paths 126 are thus disposed at an angle relative to the direction D the coolant enters the second radiator tank 104. The angle may range from 1° to 89°. Preferably, the angle may range from about 10° to about 30°. In one particular application, the angle may be about 15°. In this manner, the coolant impinges upon walls of the convoluted oil cooler plates 124 and is redirected in a direction D′. Explaining further, as coolant exits the radiator tubes 108, the coolant will have to “hit” the walls of the convoluted oil cooler plates 124, thereby causing turbulence in the flow of coolant and resultantly increasing heat transfer.

It will be appreciated that the present teachings provide a heat exchanger including an in-tank oil cooler with improved heat rejection capability due to coolant being impinged upon walls of the oil cooler plate convolutions. The present teachings further provide a more free flow of coolant through the oil cooler plates 124 as compared to known oil coolers.

The foregoing description of the embodiments has been provided for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention. Individual elements or features of a particular embodiment are generally not limited to that particular embodiment, but, where applicable, are interchangeable and can be used in a selected embodiment, even if not specifically shown or described. The same may also be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the invention, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140060784 A1
Publish Date
03/06/2014
Document #
14013632
File Date
08/29/2013
USPTO Class
165148
Other USPTO Classes
165170
International Class
01M5/00
Drawings
7


Rejection
Tubes
Headers
Heat Exchanger


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