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Research Papers: Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer

Passivation and Performance of Inorganic Aqueous Solutions in a Grooved Aluminum Flat Heat Pipe

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael J. Stubblebine

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California,
Los Angeles,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1597
e-mail: michael.stubblebine@ucla.edu

Ivan Catton

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California,
Los Angeles,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1597
e-mail: catton@ucla.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received March 10, 2014; final manuscript received January 27, 2015; published online February 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Bruce L. Drolen.

J. Heat Transfer 137(5), 052901 (May 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: HT-14-1119; doi: 10.1115/1.4029694 History: Received March 10, 2014; Revised January 27, 2015; Online February 18, 2015

Aluminum heat pipes have traditionally been incompatible with water and water-based fluids because they quickly react to generate noncondensable hydrogen gas (NCG). Two different inorganic aqueous solutions (IAS) are tested in a flat heat pipe (FHP). Grooved aluminum plates were used as the heat pipe wick and the tests were run with the heating section raised above the condenser. Compatibility between the working fluid and the aluminum heat pipe was established by running the device to dryout and observing thermal resistance results along the way. De-ionized (DI) water was also tested, as a baseline for comparison, to establish that it did indeed fail as expected. Operating performance of each mixture was obtained from zero heat input until dryout was reached for two angles of inclination. The data suggest that both IAS mixtures are compatible with aluminum heat pipes and exhibit performance similar to that of a copper and water heat pipe. It is demonstrated that IAS and aluminum heat pipes show potential for replacing existing copper and water devices for some applications and provide alternative options for heat pipe designers who value both the thermophysical property advantages of water and reduced weight of aluminum devices.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Effect of IAS on sintered copper wick [24]

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Fig. 2

FHP test setup (top), vapor chamber schematic (bottom); (representation, not actual scale)

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Fig. 3

Rectangular aluminum plate, before testing (clean)

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Fig. 4

Test plate thermocouple map

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Fig. 5

FHP vapor chamber during operation

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Fig. 6

1 deg data: heat flux versus ΔT, all aluminum plates (water, UCLA IAS 1, and IAS Mix 2.5)

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Fig. 7

Axial location on plate versus plate temperatures

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Fig. 8

Total heat pipe thermal resistance versus heat flux (3 deg)

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Fig. 9

3 deg data: heat flux versus ΔT, (UCLA IAS 1-aluminum, IAS Mix 2.5-aluminum, water–copper)

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Fig. 10

UCLA IAS 1, post-test microscope images from evaporator (top: 50 × mag, bottom: 200 × mag)

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Fig. 11

China IAS 2.5, post-test microscope images from evaporator (top: 50 × mag, bottom: 200 × mag)

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Fig. 12

IAS deposits in evaporator of an aluminum grooved FHP wick

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Fig. 13

IAS wicking up aluminum grooves in a FHP at test start (top), IAS and aluminum groove test during operation (bottom)

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