Sintered Wick Heat Pipes for Effective Heat Transfer
In this type of heat pipe, the capillary wick is made of sintered powder which adheres to the inner walls of the heat pipe and transports the fluid through capillary action.
Choosing a sintered structure for the heat pipe wick will provide high power handling, low temperature gradients, and high capillary forces for anti-gravity applications. Very tight bends in the heat pipe can be achieved with this type of structure.
Powder particles are diffused together and to the tube wall to form a sintered wick structure. Copper powder is the most common material used for this. Sintered wick structures using smaller powder particles can lift the working fluid a greater distance than a wick structure fabricated with larger particles. The pumping capability of a sintered wick structure is superior to the capability of a screen mesh or grooved wick structure. A sintered wick heat pipe can be used in applications with radial heat fluxes up to 250 W/cm2.