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Art of Science image titled Lasiren's Crossroads
Lasiren's Crossroads

Scientist Collaborator Kazi Fazle Rabbi

Nenad Miljkovic Laboratory Group

X5000 NSI High Resolution CT and rendered in 3D using Imaris

Funded by the IGB Core Facilities

What do refrigerators, steam power plants, and sewage treatment facilities have in common? They all use heat exchangers—systems that transfer heat between two or more fluids, optimizing temperature regulation. Such arrangements are also found in nature as seen in the circulatory system of marine mammals. Arteries to the skin carry warm blood and are intertwined with veins from the skin that carry cold blood. The resulting heat exchange reduces heat loss in cold water. This interdependent system inspired the artist to overlay two different perspectives: a scan of a heat exchanger set against a graph paper background, reminiscent of Agnes Martin’s work. The piece also symbolizes the beginning and end of the design process. An idea is first drawn on paper and later comes alive.

The original image is an X-ray computerized tomography (CT) scan of a compact multi-tube heat exchanger that was manufactured using 3D metal printing. This new manufacturing process is cheaper, easier, and can be used to create parts that are impossible to make using conventional methods.