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Research Papers: Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer

Investigation of the Use of an Inorganic Aqueous Solution in Aluminum-Made Phase-Change Heat Transfer Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Qi Yao

Mem. ASME
University of California,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Eng. IV 43-132,
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1957
e-mail: yaoqi1983@ucla.edu

Michael J. Stubblebine

University of California,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Eng. IV 43-132,
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1957
e-mail: mike.stubblebine@gmail.com

Ivan Catton

University of California,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Eng. IV 43-132,
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1957
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 August 17, 2016; final manuscript received June 5, 2017; published online July 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Danesh K. Tafti.

J. Heat Transfer 139(12), 122901 (Jul 25, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: HT-16-1517; doi: 10.1115/1.4037079 History: Received August 17, 2016; Revised June 05, 2017

An inorganic aqueous solution, known as IAS, has shown its compatibility with aluminum phase-change heat transfer devices. When using IAS in aluminum devices, aluminum prefers to react with the two oxidizers, permanganate and chromate, rather than water to generate a thin and compact layer of aluminum oxide, which protects the aluminum surface and prevents further reactions. In addition, an electrochemical theory of aluminum passivation is introduced, and the existence of an electrochemical cycle is demonstrated by an aluminum thermosiphon test. The electrochemistry cycle, built up by liquid back flow and tube wall, allows the oxidizers to passivate the aluminum surface inside the device without being directly in contact with it. However, failure was detected while using IAS in thermosiphons with air natural convection cooling. The importance of a continuous liquid back flow to aluminum passivation in phase-change heat transfer devices is pointed out, and a vertical thermosiphon test with natural convection cooling is used to demonstrate that a discontinuous liquid back flow is the main reason of the failures.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
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References

Reay, D. , and Kew, P. , 2006, Heat Pipes: Theory, Design, and Applications, 5th ed., Elsevier, Oxford, UK.
Kendig, M. , and Buchheit, R. , 2003, “ Corrosion Inhibition of Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys by Soluble Chromates, Chromate Coatings, and Chromate-Free Coatings,” Corrosion, 59(5), pp. 379–400. [CrossRef]
Rocco, A. M. , Nogueira, T. M. C. , Simão, R. A. , and Lima, W. C. , 2004, “ Evaluation of Chromate Passivation and Chromate Conversion Coating on 55% Al–Zn Coated Steel,” Surf. Coat. Technol., 179(2–3), pp. 135–144. [CrossRef]
Reilly, S. , Amouzegar, L. , Tao, H. T. , and Catton, I. , 2011, “ Use of Inorganic Aqueous Solutions for Passivation of Heat Transfer Devices,” Tenth International Heat Pipe Symposium (IHPS), Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 6–9.
Yao, Q. , 2016, “ Investigation of the Use of an Inorganic Aqueous Solution (IAS) in Phase Change Heat Transfer Devices,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.
Ahmad, Z. , 2012, Aluminium Alloys—New Trends in Fabrication and Applications, InTech, Rijeka, Croatia.
Stubblebine, M. J. , Yao, Q. , Supowit, J. , and Catton, I. , 2016, “ A New Method for Evaluating Heat Pipe Fluid Compatibility,” Appl. Therm. Eng., 101, pp. 796–803. [CrossRef]
Ghiaasiaan, S. M. , 2007, Two-Phase Flow: Boiling and Condensation in Conventional and Miniature Systems, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Figures

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Fig. 1

The effect of NCG generation to the heat transfer performance of a thermosiphon

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Fig. 2

E–pH diagram for Aluminum at 25 °C in aqueous solutions [7]: A, fresh IAS; B, used IAS

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Fig. 3

Electrochemical cycle of aluminum passivation, while using IAS in aluminum phase-change devices

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the aluminum thermosiphon test with ice bath cooling

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Fig. 5

Thermocouple locations in the aluminum thermosiphon test with ice bath cooling

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Fig. 6

Performance comparison between water and IAS in aluminum thermosiphons, temperatures at condensing, adiabatic, and evaporating regions. Average temperature of thermocouples in each section is used.

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Fig. 7

Performance comparison between copper/water and aluminum/IAS thermosiphons, temperature difference of the evaporator and the condenser

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Fig. 8

Discontinuous liquid back flow in an operating thermosiphon with natural air convection cooling

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Fig. 9

Length of the droplet region of thermosiphons cooled by different methods

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Fig. 10

Aluminum thermosiphon test setup with a natural air convection cooling

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Fig. 11

Thermocouple locations of the aluminum thermosiphon test with natural air convection cooling

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Fig. 12

Test results of 6-ft thermosiphon, cooled by natural air convection

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Fig. 13

Test results of 3-ft thermosiphon, cooled by natural air convection

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Fig. 14

Test results of 2-ft thermosiphon, cooled by natural air convection

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Fig. 15

Test results of 1-ft thermosiphon, cooled by natural air convection

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Fig. 16

Test results of 6-ft thermosiphon with 2.6 ml three times concentrated IAS, cooled by natural air convection

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