Fine Pore Loop Heat Pipe Wick Structure Development 961319
This paper describes the transfer of Russian fine pore sintered powder metal wick structure fabrication technology to the United States for use in the construction of U.S. made loop heat pipes (LHPs), capillary pumped loops (CPLs) and heat pipes. Sintered powder metal wick structures have been used in U.S. made heat pipes for over twenty-five years. The typical pore radii for these wick structures range from 10 to 100 microns. Use of a wick material with a pore radius less than 10 microns was limited due to the high pressure drop encountered when used in a standard heat pipe. Conversely, the Russian loop heat pipe is able to get around this high pressure drop constraint due to its unique evaporator design. Prior to the work presented in this paper, the U.S. concentrated on the development of wick structure materials above 10 microns which created a technology void with the advent of the LHP.