Polymeric materials have several favorable properties for heat transfer systems, including low weight, low manufacturing cost, antifouling, and anticorrosion. Additionally, polymers are typically electrical insulators, making them favorable for applications in which electrical conductivity is a concern. Examples of utilizing these favorable properties are discussed. The drawbacks to raw polymer materials include low thermal conductivity, low structural strength, and poor stability at elevated temperatures. Methods of mitigating these unfavorable properties, including loading the polymer with other materials and developing new polymers, are discussed. Enhanced geometric designs enabled by additive manufacturing can also improve thermal performance of polymer heat exchangers. Results of a research study utilizing additive manufacturing toward developing high-performance and cost-effective polymer heat exchangers for an air-to-liquid application are reviewed and discussed. Finally, needs for further research on enhancing polymer thermal performance are discussed.

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