Experimental Investigation of a Flexible Bellows Heat Pipe for Cooling Discrete Heat Sources

[+] Author and Article Information
B. R. Babin, G. P. Peterson

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

J. Heat Transfer 112(3), 602-607 (Aug 01, 1990) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910429 History: Received January 20, 1989; Revised October 20, 1989; Online May 23, 2008


A computer model was developed to aid in the design of a flexible bellows heat pipe for cooling small discrete heat sources or arrays of small heat sources. This model was used to evaluate the operational characteristics and performance limitations of these heat pipes and to formulate and optimize a series of conceptual designs. Three flexible bellows heat pipes approximately 40 mm in length and 6 mm in diameter were constructed and tested using three different wick configurations. The test pipes were found to be boiling limited over most of the operating temperature range tested. Heat fluxes in excess of 200 W/cm2 were obtained and thermal resistance values of less than 0.7 °C/W were measured. Although the computer model slightly underestimated the experimentally determined transport limit for one of the wicking configurations, the remaining transport predictions were consistently within 8 percent of the experimental values.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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