1998-02-23

Potential Automotive Applications of Heat Pipes 980060

The heat pipe is a very highly conductive device for transferring heat over a relatively long distance with a minimum temperature difference between the heat source and heat sink. Very limited research has been done on the applications of heat pipes in automobile design or manufacturing.
Several areas for the use of heat pipes include using the heat pipe as a device for controlling the catalytic converter temperature, early warm up of the catalyst bed, heating of the rear defogger and passenger compartment, engine cooling, and oil cooling. Some of the manufacturing applications include the use of heat pipes for the design and control of the die casting cooling system. Similar applications of heat pipes include the use of heat pipe for the control of the solidification process and material flow during injection molding. Other manufacturing applications may include the use of heat pipes for the cooling of machining tools during metal cutting and grinding.
Theoretical analysis and results for one of the proposed designs for the control of catalytic converter temperature are presented. The analysis results for the proposed design show that heat pipes can be used for efficient control of the catalyst bed temperature and will lead to a reduction in the early exhaust emissions by allowing the catalyst to reach the light off temperature in a shorter time.

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