American Journal of Applied Sciences

Flattening Effect on Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Sintered-Wick Heat Pipe

Weeranut Intagun, Pradit Terdtoon and Phurt Sakulchangsatjatai

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2013.760.766

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 10, Issue 7

Pages 760-766


The effect of pipe flattening on heat transfer characteristics and the internal phenomena of a sintered-wick heat pipe has been investigated by using three-dimensional Finite Element Method. The calculation domains were focused at three important regions, i.e., vapor core, wick and wall. The Cartesian coordinates and the three-dimensional tetrahedral elements were applied in this model. The selected total elements were 638,400 to ensure the accuracy. The original diameter and total length of heat pipe were 6 mm and 200 mm, respectively. The composite wick made from sintered copper powder and grooved copper pipe was applied with water as working fluid. The vapor flow was assumed to be laminar and incompressible. The predicted results from the program were validated with the experimental results conducted with all similar controlled parameters. It was found that the predicted wall temperature and thermal resistance agreed well with the experimental data with the standard deviations of ±5.95 and ±32.85%, respectively. Furthermore, the overall thermal resistances of the tubular heat pipes (original diameter of 6 mm), which were flattened into the final thickness of 4.0 and 3.0 mm, decreased from 0.91 to 0.83°C/W due to an increase of the contacted surface for heat transfer surface. However, the overall thermal resistance of a flattened heat pipe with the final thickness of 2.5 mm increased to 0.88°C/W, resulting from drastic increase of pressure drop in narrower vapor core. The pivotal final thickness of flattened heat pipe, which is the minimum thickness of pipe to be flattened, has been analysed to be 2.75 mm (about 45% from original diameter).


© 2013 Weeranut Intagun, Pradit Terdtoon and Phurt Sakulchangsatjatai. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.