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Method for Increased Thermal Transport and Reliability in Heat Pipes Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236240D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-14
Document File: 2 page(s) / 71K

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Described is a means to alter the interior of a heat pipe to achieve increased thermal transport. Coating the interior walls with a super-hydrophobic material allows the water charge of the system to be optimized for heat removal from a specified location. Implementing this coating would have a beneficial impact on the thermal performance of electronic devices that utilize heat pipes in their cooling solution.

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Method for Increased Thermal Transport and Reliability in Heat Pipes

As electronic density increases, the thermal load which must be dissipated also increases. Known methods to transfer heat from the heat-generating devices include heat sinks, vapor chambers, and heat pipes. If there are no design constraints with respect to size, footprint, etc., heat pipes are the most efficient means to remove heat. However, there are invariably design constraints, the most prominent being height. As the height of a heat pipe decreases, so does its efficiency. Consequently, it would be beneficial to improve the efficiency of heat pipes (or vapor chambers) so that more compact designs would still afford the same thermal efficiency. Furthermore, increasing the efficiency of heat pipes in existing cooling solutions could provide power and cost savings or improve performance of components in electronic enclosures

    By using a super-hydrophobic material to coat the internal surfaces of a heat pipe, coalescence of liquid coolant (typically water) can be prevented, thereby increasing the efficiency of the heat pipe. A typical wicking heat pipe is illustrated in the figure below:

    With a wick that takes advantage of the super hydrophobic coating, capillary pressure within the heat pipe will decrease and pumping efficiency will improve by decreasing the frictional losses of the fluid as it flows through the wick. The wick is best described as a porous copper structure fabricated via a si...