Thermal hydraulic characterization of stainless steel wicks for heat pipe applications

Gianfranco Canti, Gian Piero Celata, Maurizio Cumo, Massimo Furrer

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Heat pipe design and manufacturing require the knowledge of the thermal hydraulic performance of the wicks. The aim of the present work is the thermal hydraulic characterization of stainless steel wicks (sintered porous media and gauzes) to be employed in our experimental water heat pipe. Commercial sintered porous media (able to capture 90% of 90 μm particles and 99.9% of 130 μm particles) and gauzes (nominal wire size 0.11 mm, square mesh opening 0.209 mm) have been used. Thermal hydraulic characterization of the wicks is obtained through the experimental measurement of: capillary height (through which the equivalent porous radius can be evaluated), liquid hydraulic head (through which the liquid pressure drop in the wick is evaluated) wick permeability is also evaluated from the hydraulic head (through Darcy's law), heat flux, wick mass flow rate during the evaporation (through which, from the knowledge of other measured wick parameters, the wick two-phase pressure drop is calculated) and wick porosity (through which the thermal conductivity of the wick saturated with liquid can be determined). Concerning the heat flux, it is found to be dependent on the distance between the liquid level and the evaporating zone, the evaporating zone length, the wall superheat and the water subcooling, the contact between the heater and the wick and the superficial boundary conditions of the wick. © Elsevier.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5 - 16
Number of pages12
JournalRevue Generale de Thermique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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