Very high-temperature reactors require high-temperature $(900–950°C)$ and high-integrity heat exchangers with high effectiveness during normal and off-normal conditions. A class of compact heat exchangers, namely, the printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHEs), made of high-temperature materials and found to have these above characteristics, are being increasingly pursued for heavy duty applications. A high-temperature helium test facility, primarily aimed at investigating the heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of the PCHEs, was designed and is being built at Ohio State University. The test facility was designed to facilitate operation at temperatures and pressures up to $900°C$ and 3 MPa, respectively. Owing to the high operating conditions, a detailed investigation on various high-temperature materials was carried out to aid in the design of the test facility and the heat exchangers. The study showed that alloys 617 and 230 are the leading candidate materials for high-temperature heat exchangers. Two PCHEs, each having 10 hot plates and 10 cold plates, with 12 channels in each plate, were fabricated from alloy 617 plates and will be tested once the test facility is constructed. Simultaneously, computational fluid dynamics calculations have been performed on a simplified PCHE model, and the results for three flow rate cases of 15, 40, and 80 kg/h at a system pressure of 3 MPa are discussed. In summary, this paper focuses on the study of the high-temperature materials, the design of the helium test facility, the design and fabrication of the PCHEs, and the computational modeling of a simplified PCHE model.

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