International Scientific Journal


This work presents the use of electrical discharge machining (EDM) technology for manufacturing of three different types of axial microgrooves in heat pipes. This specific process, called wire electrical discharge machining (or wire-EDM), allows the fabrication of microgrooves on the inner wall of a heat pipe with accuracy. Different from other capillary structures, such as composite wick and screen mesh, the material is removed from the pipe’s container in order to conceive the capillary structure, which contributes with the mass reduction of the passive two-phase heat transfer device. The heat pipes were manufactured from a straight copper pipe with the external diameter of 9.45 mm, the inner diameter of 6.20 mm and a total length of 200 mm. Three types of axial microgrooves were manufactured for constant width (35 μm) and varying the depth (from 30 up to 48 μm) and thickness (from 35 up to 70 μm). The number of microgrooves was also varied from 21 up to 32 microgrooves. Water was used as the working fluid and the loading filling ratio was 60% of the evaporator volume. The condenser was cooled by air forced convection, the adiabatic section was insulated and the evaporator was heated by an electrical resistor and it was insulated from the environment with aeronautic thermal insulation. The thermal performance of the heat pipes are analyzed based on experimental results, so the heat pipes were tested at the horizontal and different inclinations under different low heat loads (from 5 up to 50 W or a heat flux from 0.21 up to 2.10 W/cm2). The experimental results showed that the axial microgrooves manufactured by the wire-EDM process worked satisfactorily in all analyzed cases and microgrooves of Type #1 showed a better thermal performance when compared with the others.
PAPER REVISED: 2018-07-01
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2018-07-05
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THERMAL SCIENCE YEAR 2020, VOLUME 24, ISSUE Issue 2, PAGES [701 - 711]
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