Research Papers: Heat Exchangers

Towards a Durable Polymeric Internal Coating for Diabatic Sections in Wickless Heat Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
Fabio Villa

Laboratory of Surface and
Interfacial Physics (LPSI),
University of Mons,
19 Avenue Maistriau,
Mons 7000, Belgium
e-mail: fa86vi@gmail.com

Marco Marengo

School of Computing,
Engineering and Mathematics,
University of Brighton,
Lewes Road,
Brighton BN2 4GJ, UK
e-mail: M.Marengo@brighton.ac.uk

Joël De Coninck

Laboratory of Surface and
Interfacial Physics (LPSI),
University of Mons,
19 Avenue Maistriau,
Mons 7000, Belgium
e-mail: joel.deconinck@umons.ac.be

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received August 26, 2018; final manuscript received September 29, 2018; published online July 22, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Fabio Bozzoli.

J. Heat Transfer 141(9), 091802 (Jul 22, 2019) (5 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1551; doi: 10.1115/1.4041708 History: Received August 26, 2018; Revised September 29, 2018

Heat pipe characteristics are linked to the surface properties of the diabatic surfaces, and, in the evaporator, surface properties influence both the onset boiling temperature (TONB) and the critical heat flux (CHF). In this work, the effect of surface wettability in pool boiling heat transfer is studied in order to understand if there could be a path to increment heat pipe thermal performance. This work analyzes the effects of surface wettability on boiling (tested fluid is pure water) and proposes a new super-hydrophobic polymeric coating (De Coninck et al., 2017, “Omniphobic Surface Coatings,” Patent No. WO/2017/220591), which can have a very important effect in improving the heat pipe start-up power load and increasing the thermal performance of heat pipes when the flux is lower than the critical heat flux. The polymeric coating is able to reduce the TONB (−11% from 117 °C to about 104 °C) compared with the uncoated surfaces, as it inhibits the formation of a vapor film on the solid–liquid interface, avoiding CHF conditions up to maximum wall temperature (125 °C). This is realized by the creation of a heterogeneous surface with superhydrophobic surface (SHS) zones dispersed on top of a hydrophilic surface (stainless steel surface). The proposed coating has an outstanding thermal resistance: No degradation of SH properties of the coating has been observed after more than 500 thermal cycles.

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Fig. 1

Experimental pool boiling chamber

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Fig. 2

Experimental procedure to start up the pool boiling chamber

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Fig. 3

Black and white images from confocal microscope (S1_HD)

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Fig. 4

Thermal cycle test rig

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Fig. 5

TONB results for the tested surfaces

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Fig. 6

Heat flux versus wall temperature for the tested surfaces

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Fig. 7

TONB for S1_HD tested surfaces after 0-156-506 thermal cycles test

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Fig. 8

Measurement of the equilibrium contact angle on F1 after 0-156-506 thermal cycle test

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Fig. 9

Suggested heat pipe configuration by using two wettability patterns



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