A Contact Conductance Interface for a Space Constructable Heat Pipe Radiator 831101

A connectable/disconectable thermal interface has been developed for the constructable radiator system under development at NASA-Johnson Space Center. A contact heat exchanger approach which involves pressurized clamping of a segmented cylindrical heat exchanger on the outside of a round heat pipe evaporator section was designed, fabricated, and tested. Dry metal-to-metal contact conductance heat transfer is utilized. Test results have indicated excellent contact conductances of up to 8500 w/m2°c (1500 Btu/ft2°F) at 2000 kPa (300 psi) clamping force. The feasibility and fabricability of the design have been demonstrated.


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