Enabling cross-morphological performance comparison: A case study in heat management design

Thomas Fischer*, Chitraj Bissoonauth, Liang Haowen, Bai Jiaming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-morphological performance comparisons in mechanical engineering design may well resemble comparisons of apples and oranges. They are meaningful only if pertinent properties shared across compared morphologies (so-called tertia comparationis) are identified, and equity with regard to these properties is established. This article demonstrates such an approach with the use of parametric geometry modeling, optimization, and additive manufacturing, enabling a thermal performance comparison of different heat sink morphologies, using both steady-state numerical simulation and experimental evaluation, by establishing equity across the compared heat sinks in terms of (thermal) mass. Limitations in additive manufacturing precision, as well as inconsistencies between numerical simulation and experimental evaluation results, were encountered in this case study. Likely resulting from the heat sinks’ thermal properties on the additive manufacturing process and the simulation environment's disproportionate reliance on convection surface area, these limitations and inconsistencies will likely diminish as additive manufacturing and numerical simulation technologies improve. The cross-morphological comparison approach presented here is shown to be viable in principle and may inform decision-making in applied mechanical engineering design research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112826
JournalMaterials and Design
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Enabling cross-morphological performance comparison: A case study in heat management design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this