Standard Heat Pipes

Standard heat pipes products are also sometimes known as Constant Conductance Heat Pipes (CCHPs), but this is a term more commonly used in the Spacecraft Thermal Control industry, most often referring to Aluminum-Ammonia CCHPs.

As shown in the above video, a heat pipe works through heat that is transferred by the evaporation and condensation of a working fluid:

  • Heat transfer to the evaporator vaporizes liquid within the wick.
  • Vapor pressure drives fluid to the condenser
  • Heat transfer from the condenser condenses vapor at the wick.
  • The liquid returns to the evaporator by capillary forces generated in the wick
curved heat pipes

Figure 1.  Heat pipes can be bent into tight curves.

The typical bend radius is recommended to maintain greater than 3 times the O.D. of the heat pipe; see Figure 1. Below, two examples of copper water heat pipes used to cool discrete components are showing in Figure 2 .  The heat pipes can be bent as necessary between the heat source and sink.

Copper water chip cooling

Figure 2 Copper-Water Heat Pipes Used for Electronics Chip Cooling.

The benefits of a standard heat pipe include:

  • High Thermal Conductivity (10,000 to 100,000 W/m K)
  • Isothermal
  • Passive
  • Low Cost
  • Shock/Vibration tolerant

Learn more about custom heat pipe products

There are several limitations that must be taken into consideration with designing a thermal solution that uses standard heat pipes:

  • Sonic
  • Capillary
  • Boiling
  • Heat Pipe Entrainment
  • Thermosyphon Flooding

Learn more about limits

Characteristics and considerations for standard heat pipes:

ACT’s heat pipe calculator can be used to estimate the performance of standard copper-water heat pipes.

Back to Different Types of Heat Pipes… 

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