This paper describes an experimental study of a flat-evaporator-type loop heat pipe (LHP) with wicks made from hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) porous membranes, which have small pore sizes but high porosity and permeability. To demonstrate the applicability of these membranes, the LHP was designed completely and fabricated, after which the performance was experimentally investigated under a 0.52 m anti-gravity condition at a constant heat sink temperature of 80 °C. Two types of membranes were used, possessing different pore diameters and permeabilities. The pore diameter and permeability of wick 1 were 0.44 µm and 2 × 10−14 m2, respectively, while wick 2 had a pore diameter and permeability of 1.40 µm and 5 × 10−14 m2, respectively. A special wick support was designed and fabricated to ensure contact between the wick and the groove fins and to prevent the shrinkage of the PTFE membranes. Pure water was used as the working fluid. The effect of the PTFE wick characteristics on the LHP thermal performance was investigated by measuring the temperature at each point and the compensation chamber pressure. The LHP achieved steady-state operation at heat loads up to 1000 W, with a minimum thermal resistance of 0.052 K/W. Wick 2, which had a larger pore size and higher permeability, exhibited better performance than wick 1. The LHP operating temperature decreased by 10 °C, and the thermal resistance decreased by approximately 20% between wick 1 and wick 2.
Flat-evaporator-type loop heat pipe with hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene porous membranes
Note: This paper is part of the Special Issue from the 30th International Symposium on Transport Phenomena.
Nguyen Phan, Noriyuki Watanabe, Yuki Saito, Shota Hayashi, Naoki Katayama, Hosei Nagano; Flat-evaporator-type loop heat pipe with hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene porous membranes. Physics of Fluids 1 April 2020; 32 (4): 047108. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5143561
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