Additive manufacturing (AM) with metal powder has made possible the fabrication of gas turbine components with small and complex flow paths that cannot be achieved with any other manufacturing technology presently available. The increased design space of AM allows turbine designers to develop advanced cooling schemes in high-temperature components to increase cooling efficiency. Inherent in AM with metals is the large surface roughness that cannot be removed from small internal geometries. Such roughness has been shown in previous studies to significantly augment pressure loss and heat transfer of small channels. However, the roughness on these channels or other surfaces made from AM with metal powder has not been thoroughly characterized for scaling pressure loss and heat transfer data. This study examines the roughness of the surfaces of channels of various hydraulic length scales made with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). Statistical roughness parameters are presented along with other parameters that others have found to correlate with flow and heat transfer. The pressure loss and heat transfer previously reported for the DMLS channels studied in this work are compared to the physical roughness measurements. Results show that the relative arithmetic mean roughness correlates well with the relative equivalent sand grain roughness. A correlation is presented to predict the Nusselt number of flow through AM channels, which gives better predictions of heat transfer than correlations currently available.

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