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Heat Pipe Science and Technology, An International Journal

ISSN Print: 2151-7975
ISSN Online: 2151-7991

Archives: Volume 1, 2010 to Volume 8, 2017

Heat Pipe Science and Technology, An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/HeatPipeScieTech.2017018805
pages 27-49

DESIGN, MANUFACTURING, AND CHARACTERIZATION OF COPPER CAPILLARY STRUCTURES FOR LOOP HEAT PIPES

Rémi Giraudon
University of Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, CETHIL UMR5008, F-69621, Villeurbanne, France
Stephane Lips
University Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, CETHIL UMR5008, F-69621, Villeurbanne, France
D. Fabregue
University of Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS UMR5510, F-69621, Villeurbanne, France
L. Gremillard
University of Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS UMR5510, F-69621, Villeurbanne, France
E. Maire
University of Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS UMR5510, F-69621, Villeurbanne, France
Valerie Sartre
University of Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, CETHIL UMR5008, F-69621, Villeurbanne, France

ABSTRACT

Mono- and bilayer capillary structures are designed by means of a thermohydraulic model of a loop heat pipe in order to optimize the performance of the system. The model tends to show that bilayer wicks with a thermally conducting bottom layer and an insulating top layer are the most efficient in loop heat pipes. An experimental study is then led to manufacture and characterize the bottom layer. Eight samples made of copper powder are manufactured following a two-level fractional factorial design. The top layer is not manufactured in this study. The sintering parameters are adjusted to provide porous samples with sufficient mechanical resistance. The porous structure permeability and its capacity to provide a sufficient capillary pressure are evaluated using a specific test bench designed for this study, as well as with microstructural observations (tomography, microscopy). The experimental characterization of the samples enables to determine the influence of each sintering parameter as well as the interactions between them. The characteristics of the porous samples are found to be mainly affected by the sintering time and the pressure. High values of these parameters decrease the permeability and the porosity but increase the maximum capillary pressure due to a smaller effective pore radius. A set of optimum sintering parameters is found in order to manufacture the bottom layer. The best porous structure is supposed to enhance the latent heat transfer in an LHP.


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