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Design and manufacture of equipment for engineering education and research. Constantly evolving for the growing demands of the engineering education sector.


Desktop Learning Modules

The DLMX represents the very best in modern engineering teaching equipment. The system is a highly visual learning tool that can be used to teach Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermofluids to students of all ages.

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DLMX Desktop Learning Modules - Issue 1 

Revolutionary teaching system for Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Thermo Fluids, with applications in Civil, Chemical and Mechanical Engineering Education.


DLMX-desktop_learning_modules-HD from Armfield Social Media on Vimeo.

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Key Features

Unique and innovative approach to multi-discipline engineering teaching.

  • Small enough for the classroom, rigorous enough for the laboratory!
  • Proven to enhance student understanding
  • Cartridge system covering different topics
  • Seven DLM cartridges available at launch
  • Multiple language options
  • Cost-effective
  • Highly visual
  • Quiet operation
  • Battery powered


Desktop Learning Modules - DLMX

A new concept from Armfield and Washington State University, USA. This simple teaching system will revolutionise the teaching of fluid mechanics, thermofluids and heat transfer all in one compact, easy to use system!

Designed to be highly visual and simple to use, the DLMX range illustrates engineering concepts in a groundbreaking and unique way. The equipment is small, portable and battery powered making it ideal for classroom or laboratory. It can be used by the teacher for presentations or can be operated by students to enable closeup understanding of the concepts being taught.

The DLMX system is equally at home in the engineering laboratory where more detailed investigations can be performed, complete with analysis of readings.


DLMX Base Unit

The Armfield DLMX system is a practical education system aimed at teaching students the basics of fluid mechanics, heat exchange and other fundamental engineering principles. It is a unique combination of coursework and practical demonstration equipment and can be used to teach students of all ages.

The equipment comprises a small battery operated base unit, into which one of seven different cartridges is plugged. The base unit contains a water reservoir, pump, controls and viewing panel.

The cartridges contain an experimental representation of the topic, and the specific instrumentation required for the particular demonstration. Currently seven different cartridges are available covering fluid mechanics, thermofluids and heat transfer.

The cartridges can be changed in seconds as they use a simple plug in mechanism. As the cartridges include their own microcontroller, the base unit automatically detects the cartridge that is fitted and displays the information accordingly.

The equipment can be used by a single student, by small groups of students or by a teacher or technician demonstrating to the whole class.

The academic content and coursework is provided by Washington State University. It includes classroom exercises, detailed theory of the processes and suggestions for further work.

The base unit comprises a clear acrylic water reservoir, mounted on a robust vacuum formed ABS plastic plinth. Under the plinth is a pump with a variable speed control, flow meter, battery, level sensor and the electrical control circuitry with display.

The units are battery powered; the internal rechargeable batteries provide more than enough for a long classroom session. The units can also be powered by mains electricity, recharging the batteries at the same time.

The simple push fit cartridge interface, provides smartchip and self-sealing hose connections. This mechanism is common to all the DLM cartridges.

The quick easy setup ensures that sensible investigations can be performed in less than ten minutes.

DLM Cartridges

DLM-1 Cross Flow Heat Exchanger
This cartridge demonstrates the function of a fan and radiator to cool water. The DLMX reservoir is filled with hot water, which is pumped through the heat exchanger. The inlet and outlet water temperatures are measured to demonstrate the cooling effect. The relationship between heat transfer and water flow rate can also be investigated.


DLM-2 Fluidised Bed
A highly visual demonstration of a fluidised bed. The onset of fluidisation can be demonstrated and the way the height of the bed varies with the flow rate. The pressure drop across the bed is measured, so the way the pressure varies before the onset of fluidisation and after fluidisation has occurred can be illustrated and compared to theory.


DLM-3 Orifice Plate
The use of an orifice plate to measure flow is demonstrated by measuring the pressure drop across a defined orifice. The geometry of the orifice is in accordance with standard industrial orifice flow meters.


DLM-4 Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger
This cartridge requires two DLMX base units, one filled with hot water, and one filled with cold water. The inlet and outlet temperatures of both fluid streams are measured, enabling the heat transfer coefficient to be measured and an energy balance to be performed. The two flow rates can be individually varied and the flow direction through the shell can be easily changed. The internal geometry of the DLM-4 is based on industrial 2-1 shell and tube heat exchangers.


DLM-5 Tubular Heat Exchanger (tube in tube)
This cartridge requires two DLMX base units, one filled with hot water and one filled with cold water. The inlet and outlet temperatures of both fluid streams are measured, enabling the heat transfer coefficient to be measured and an energy balance to be performed. Reversing the flow in the outer tube demonstrates the difference between co-current and counter-current operation.


DLM-6 Energy Losses in Hydraulic Systems
This cartridge simultaneously measures the pressure drop across a straight pipe, a smooth bend and a right angle bend. Each test section is of the same cross section and same effective length, enabling meaningful comparisons to be made. The additional energy losses due to the geometry of the flow path can be clearly seen at different flow rates and the relationship to theory can be established.


DLM-7 Venturi System
The DLM-7 demonstrates the Bernoulli equation, showing how low pressure is generated in the throat of a venturi tube, and how this is affected by flow. The flow recovery is also demonstrated by measuring the total pressure drop across the module. The geometry of the venturi orifice is in accordance with standard industrial venturi flow meters, so the use of a venturi to measure flow can also be demonstrated.


Ordering Specification - DLMX / DLM

DLMX Base Unit and DLM Cartridges
  • A range of Desktop Learning Modules for teaching fluid mechanics, thermofluids and heat transfer
  • Different subject topics covered by interchangeable cartridges, which plug into a common base unit
  • Cartridges interchangeable in a few seconds
  • Variable flow rates by pulse width modulated controlled pump
  • Electronic flow measurement
  • Multiple language support display options
  • SI or American Engineering Systems units display options
  • Rechargeable battery pack - makes it independent of mains supply 
  • Complete with extensive teaching material compiled by Washington State University, to include classroom exercises, user manual, background theory and teaching assessments
  • Cartridges include their own microcontroller 
  • Range of seven cartridges available: 
    - Cross Flow Heat Exchanger 
    - Fluidised Bed 
    - Orifice Plate 
    - Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger 
    - Tubular Heat Exchanger 
    - Energy Losses in Hydraulic Systems 
    - Venturi


DLMX Base Unit Water:
Initial cold fill, heat exchangers will require a supply of hot water (up to a max temperature of 60°C)

DLM Cartridges
DLM-4 Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger and DLM-5 Tubular Heat Exchanger (tube in tube) each requires two DLMX base units, all others require a single base unit.

Shipping Specifications

Volume (m³) 0.10m³ 0.02m³ 0.02m³ 0.02m³ 0.02m³ 0.02m³ 0.02m³ 0.02m³
Gross weight (kg) 6kg 2kg 1.5kg 1.5kg 1.5kg 1.5kg 1.5kg 1.5kg

Overall Dimensions

Height 0.250m 0.285m 0.350m 0.270m 0.320m 0.270m 0.270m 0.270m
Width 0.280m 0.160m 0.110m 0.110m 0.110m 0.110m 0.110m 0.110m
Depth 0.390m 0.075m 0.075m 0.075m 0.075m 0.075m 0.075m 0.075m