Year of Publication


Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dusan P. Sekulic


The approach advocated in this work implements energy/exergy analysis and indirectly an irreversibility evaluation to a continuous manufacturing process involving discrete net shape production of compact heat exchangers through a complex controlled atmosphere brazing (CAB) process. The system under consideration involves fifteen cells of a continuous ramp-up heating, melting, reactive flow, isothermal dwell, and rapid quench solidification processing sequence during a controlled atmosphere brazing of aluminum compact heat exchangers. Detailed mass, energy, and exergy balances were performed. The irreversibility sources were identified and the quality of energy utilization at different processing steps determined. It is demonstrated that advanced thermodynamics metrics based on entropy generation may indicate the level of sustainable energy utilization of transient open systems, such as in manufacturing. This indicator may be related to particular property uniformity during materials processing. In such a case, the property uniformity would indicate systems distance from equilibrium, i.e., from the process sustainable energy utilization level. This idea is applied to net shape manufacturing process considered. A metric based on exergy destruction is devised to relate the heat exchanger temperature uniformity and the quality. The idea advocated in this thesis will represent the coherent framework for developing energy efficient, economically affordable and environmentally friendly manufacturing technology.